Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
OSWEGO, NY – When it comes to the United Way’s mission of raising awareness of the human needs that exist in Oswego County, the efforts of the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Oswego County focuses on one of the most important.
Located at 301 Beech St., Fulton and 4822 Salina St., Pulaski, the CAC is a non-profit charitable organization that provides a range of services to children who have been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused. Working together with area law enforcement agencies, the Department of Social Services, and a multi-disciplinary team, comprised of a cross section of law enforcement investigators, child protective services, medical providers, therapeutic professionals, victim support professionals, probation officers, and the district attorney’s office, the CAC assists in reviewing each case and establishes an effective approach for the child abuse investigation and prosecution, and service provision to families and individuals affected by child abuse. In 2010 the CAC evaluated more than 240 children and provided more than 4,650 services to children and their families in Oswego County. Most sexual abuse crimes still go unreported. Experts believe as few as 1 in 10 children will ever disclose. Now more than ever, it is important for people to be aware of the signs of child abuse and to speak up if they believe something unsafe is happening to a child.
Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler, was pleased to highlight the work of the CAC at the United Way’s Campaign Kick-Off breakfast. “When Lauren Daniels, who produced our videos for last year and this year’s campaign kick-off, approached me about a video spotlighting the CAC, I thought it was very appropriate as the CAC’s mission and goals align nicely with our mission by raising awareness of local human needs and supporting solutions that address those needs. One of our newest member agencies, the CAC is vital to our community as it protects and helps victims recover from an extremely traumatic situation. Children are our future, the CAC advocates for our children and provides vital services that help abused children recover and lead productive lives,” said Trexler.
Once Daniels received word that her choice of the CAC for the video was welcomed by both the United Way staff and the Campaign Cabinet, she was ready to learn more about the CAC and excited to begin filming the video. “I suggested the CAC as the agency for the video because I knew they provided a much needed service for the children of our community. It was enlightening to see the wide range of services that are available to children who have suffered abuse and their families and learn about those services in-depth,” said Daniels.
Upon her first visit inside the offices of the CAC, Daniels was impressed with what she saw. “The atmosphere is very comforting, as soon as I walked in I felt completely at ease. It was easy to imagine how a child and their parents would experience a similar feeling. Executive Director, Karrie Damm and her staff were wonderful to work with and I was amazed at the amount of resources that they offer for victimized children and their families. The facility is designed and decorated perfectly with plenty of toys for the children and allows the examination process to be as stress free as possible. They are truly amazing at what they do and I am very pleased to have been able to highlight the positive impact the CAC has on our community,” said Daniels.
For Executive Director of the CAC, Karrie Damm, the recognition was a humbling experience. “We are honored that United Way chose to highlight the CAC at their campaign kick-off and I appreciate the time and effort Lauren put into producing the video. United Way truly does take care of those who take care of others by supporting agencies who are in the trenches and meeting needs everyday. These agencies and programs ensure that people are fed, clothed, supported, and protected. The funding that we receive from United Way enhances our ability to ensure that children and families can find justice, hope, and healing after child abuse. There are so many wonderful agencies in Oswego County who receive United Way support, we sincerely appreciate being part of such a terrific group,” said Damm.
For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County contact their main office at 315-592-4453 or visit their website www.oswegocac.org