To the Editor:
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and I am asking for your support in sponsoring me in the DeKalb County Children’s Advocacy Center Walk on April 20.
The Children’s Advocacy Center is a state mandated agency that provides a multidisciplinary team to respond to reports of physical and sexual abuse of children.
Children are interviewed in a nonthreatening, child-friendly setting to minimize any further trauma after abuse is disclosed. The team includes all county law enforcement agencies, the state’s attorney’s office, the Department of Children and Family Services, mental health providers and medical staff when necessary. The advocacy center is a program of the Family Service Agency.
The recent report of an incident where the child was able to be interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center emphasizes the importance of this agency. There are many interviews that take place that are never reported in the media.
The center has been in place since December of 2002 and I have been a board member since then. Enhanced coordination among the team members has improved significantly the rate of successful prosecutions of offenders. The team approach also facilitates timely delivery of support services to non-offending family members and other children.
We provide many public education and training events on prevention, mandated reporting of abuse, child abuse indicators and appropriate responses. The Child Advocacy Center supports families through the judicial system, which can be very intimidating.
We rely on state and community grants for our funding. Your donation will be dedicated to services in DeKalb County and is tax deductible. We all receive multiple requests for support from many worthwhile agencies. I am hoping you will be able to be generous in your support of your Child Advocacy Center, as it is the only place this important service can be provided.
Please help me and the advocacy center work to ensure our community does all it can to prevent child abuse and help victims. You can mail your donation to me, Lori Imes, 116 East Alden Place, DeKalb, IL 60115. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.