Friends of the Child Advocacy Center

Child Abuse Prevention in Frederick County, Maryland

FROM THE DIRECTOR'S DESK

Hello friends,

Before we realize it, summer will be coming to an end and the crisp, cool mornings of fall will be upon us. We are reminded of this as the excitement and anticipation of a new school year fills the air and we see the happy smiles of children posing for first day of school pictures to capture the moment. These beginnings always bring a sense of hope and optimism, but perhaps even more so this year given the very challenging times children and families have experienced over the past two and a half years.

At the Child Advocacy Center (CAC), we too are filled with hope and optimism! Our staff and team of multidisciplinary partners remain dedicated and focused on our mission to protect and support children who have experienced maltreatment. At the closing of Fiscal Year 2022, 350 children were provided with critical trauma-informed services; an increase of 27% from FY21 and a 39% increase from FY20. From the forensic interviews that provide children an opportunity to be heard, to the advocacy services that provide immeasurable family support and resources, to the specialized medical examinations that promote children’s physical health, to the trauma-focused therapy that advance children’s and family’s mental wellness and healing, the CAC staff wraps each family in a cloak of care. As we say, “Hope grows here” and with each encounter we have the opportunity to make a positive difference in that child’s life and in that family’s life. So while I would much rather report a downward trend in the number of children and families needing our services, I remain forever grateful for each and every disclosure that brings a child to our attention and care.

Over the next months and throughout the year, I am excited to say the CAC will be expanding its staff and its programming. We will be re-launching our Reading with Heiress program to educate children about body safety, providing training to school personnel and caregivers on recognizing the signs of child maltreatment and how to report it, facilitating professional development training to our staff and multidisciplinary team partners on evidence-based practices, expanding our community prevention education program, and so much more!

Stay tuned, and in the meantime we’ll keep doing what we do to provide essential support and services to the children and families of our community. It truly takes a village and the CAC and its Multidisciplinary Team Partners couldn’t do the work we do without the tireless dedication and support of the Friends of the CAC – from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!

Stay safe and take good care,

Robin