Dr. Demara (Mari) B. Bennett, Licensed Psychologist and Assistant Professor at Florida Institute of Technology, specializes in child abuse treatment utilizing a family systems model and possesses expertise in policies governing child maltreatment reporting laws and the clinical application and implications of those laws.


Dr. Bennett is Director of the Family Learning Program (FLP), one of only 14 Department of Health-Sponsored Sexual Abuse Treatment Programs in the state of Florida providing evidence-based treatment for child and adolescent victims 3-18 years of age and their siblings and non-offending caregivers. Through FLP, Dr. Bennett also developed the Dependency Evaluation Team (DET), involving court-ordered evaluations for children and caregivers (including parental fitness evaluations) following a child’s removal from a parent’s care due to verified child maltreatment and pre-adoptive evaluations.


Dr. Bennett’s faculty responsibilities include program development, clinical supervision and clinical training, and research. She is professor for the Introduction to Child Advocacy and Critical Issues in Child Advocacy undergraduate psychology courses as part of the Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) Certificate. Graduate courses she has taught have included Child Disorders, Assessment of Developmental Disorders, and Dependency Evaluations and Ethics.


Dr. Bennett provides presentations and trainings related to child advocacy and treatment on related topics including trauma and attachment, and maltreatment and related professional and systemic issues. She serves on the The Haven for Children, Inc. Board of Directors and previously served as Treasurer of the Brevard/Indian River Chapter of the Florida Psychological Association.


Dr. Bennett specializes in psychological, neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychological evaluation and treatment across the lifespan, child and family treatment, and differential diagnosis of pediatric developmental and mental health concerns. Through her positions within community mental health centers, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health centers and private practice, Dr. Bennett has extensive experience providing individual, group and family therapy for victims of child abuse and neglect. She has specialized experience providing autism spectrum evaluation services and early childhood assessment and intervention, and actively collaborates with agencies within the child protection system. Dr. Bennett also provides training and expert consultation through her private practice in Satellite Beach, Florida.



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American Professional Society

on the Abuse of Children

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American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children  |  APSAC Center for Child Policy  |  2017