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Child Advocacy Center Addresses Oswego City School District

Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
Oswego, NY – Personnel of the Oswego City School District learned of the role of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County and the Oswego County Multi Disciplinary Team regarding the reporting and investigation of alleged cases of child abuse during a special presentation hosted by Superintendent William Crist.

Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County Karrie Damm (seated, second from left) and members of the CAC Multi-Disciplinary Team recently addressed teacher and other mandated personnel in the Oswego City School District regarding the reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment. Standing from left are: OCSD Superintendent, William Crist; Oswego City Police Chief Tory DeCaire; Attorney for the district Don Budman; District Attorney Gregory Oakes; and Court Attorney for Family Court Karen Brandt.  Seated from left are: Director of Child & Family Services for Oswego County Department of Social Services, Christine Cerklewich; CAC Executive Director, Karrie Damm; CAC Lead Victim Advocate, Tracy Henry; and CAC Senior Mental Health Counselor, Stacy Austin-Root.
Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County Karrie Damm (seated, second from left) and members of the CAC Multi-Disciplinary Team recently addressed teacher and other mandated personnel in the Oswego City School District regarding the reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment. Standing from left are: OCSD Superintendent, William Crist; Oswego City Police Chief Tory DeCaire; Attorney for the district Don Budman; District Attorney Gregory Oakes; and Court Attorney for Family Court Karen Brandt. Seated from left are: Director of Child & Family Services for Oswego County Department of Social Services, Christine Cerklewich; CAC Executive Director, Karrie Damm; CAC Lead Victim Advocate, Tracy Henry; and CAC Senior Mental Health Counselor, Stacy Austin-Root.

Executive Director of the CAC, Karrie Damm and members of the CAC Multi-Disciplinary Team addressed teachers and other mandated reporters of the Oswego School District and led a panel discussion on the responsibilities of mandated reporters and the resources that are available to them.  Mandated reporters in the school district are required to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment when, in their professional capacity, they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment.

“Our goal at the Child Advocacy Center is to respond to child abuse allegations in a comprehensive manner that assists the children and families and MDT professionals.  Through these efforts, we hope to raise awareness of and help combat child abuse in Oswego County.  We encourage community members to speak out if they suspect child abuse of any kind.  The more we can engage the community the better our chances of reducing incidents of child abuse,” said Damm.

The Multi-Disciplinary Team, which includes representatives from human services agencies, law enforcement agencies, medical providers, the district attorney’s office and other professionals, works to reduce the trauma to children and respective family members undergoing investigation of child sexual and physical abuse.

A panel comprised of members of the Multi-Disciplinary Team addressed those in attendance and held a question and answer period. Don Budman, attorney for the school district, also spoke about the importance of reporting suspicions of child abuse or maltreatment in the school setting and the legal implications and process of such.

In addition to teachers the audience included other Oswego City School District employees who are mandated reporters.

Damm, who met Crist when she was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Oswego Rotary, was happy to be able to facilitate the event.

“I was honored that Bill asked us to do this presentation.  He said that this is the first time that the school district has brought together all of its mandated reporters for an informational session with the CAC and the Multi-Disciplinary team. It’s nice that we have established a working relationship with the school district and I am looking forward to more collaborations in the future,” said Damm.