Representatives from several national research institutes will be in West Des Moines this week for the 2014 Child Abuse Prevention and Family Support Conference. Nearly 500 Iowa family support and early childhood professionals are expected to attend the three-day conference, which begins this evening at the Sheraton West Des Moines.  Experts will share the latest research and innovations in the family support field and lead conversations on how to improve practices in Iowa. Several workshops will also focus on how to use the research from The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study to foster healthy early childhood development and build on family strengths. A reception at 5:30 p.m. today will honor the family support field and draw state and national leaders for a roundtable discussion. The conference is a partnership between Prevent Child Abuse Iowa and the Iowa Department of Public Health through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.