FULTON, NY – Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, announces that the agency recently welcomed Eric Bresee, Joleen DiBartolo, Craig Fitzpatrick, and Danielle Hayden to its board of directors.
Having worked in the health and human services field in Oswego County for 20 years Bresee, executive director of Farnham Family Services, is well aware of the CAC and its ability to collaborate with other agencies to produce positive outcomes for the children and families it serves.
“Throughout my career the CAC has always been at the table dealing with the most severe cases of child abuse and related trauma,” said Bresee. “The work the CAC does is critical. The success of the CAC in achieving its mission of helping children and families heal after traumatic abuse, promotes strength in the very fibers our community is built on, contributes to population health and is an investment in our future.”
“I’m impressed with the way in which the CAC continues to grow and evolve,” Bresee added. “I am hopeful that my experience in organizational development can help the agency to be successful and further its mission of serving children and families in our community.”
Hayden, business development specialist for the Oswego County Federal Credit Union, discovered the CAC while working at the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.
While Hayden was stirred by the work the CAC does, it was a personal experience with the agency that inspired her to become a member of its board of directors.
“I was part of a Grand Jury trial when a case came through that involved abuse with young children,” explained Hayden. “I sat there holding back my tears listening to the case and thinking the entire time how I wish there was something I could do to help. I saw an opportunity for a position on the CAC board and it immediately brought me back to that day at grand jury and I thought if I cannot help these children myself at least I can be part of the organization that does.”
“The CAC is vital to Oswego County,” added Hayden. “We need this organization. The CAC is here to make sure every child that walks through its doors knows it is a safe environment where they can speak freely and no one will judge them, or make them feel bad for what happened. It’s comforting to the children and their families to know that the CAC is the only place they need to go and will provide every service they may need. The CAC allows families to work towards creating a healthy, safe environment for their children and I am happy to be a joining the board of such a worthwhile agency.”
Fitzpatrick, a financial advisor with Pathfinder Bank heard of the CAC from a co-worker.
When he heard about the work the CAC does it piqued his interest.
“When I did some research on the CAC and what great things it does for the community I instantly felt a connection to the mission of the organization. As a parent, I want to be part of the solution for childhood abuse and the traumatic affect that it has on the victims and their families. Becoming a board member for the CAC gives me the opportunity to do so,” he said.
DiBartolo, residential mortgage lender at Pathfinder Bank, also discovered the CAC though her co-workers.
The experience was an eye-opener that had an immediate impact.
“As a loving and devoted mother of two young children, I was absolutely devastated to learn of the sexual abuse, physical abuse and trauma that so many children in our community were facing,” said DiBartolo. “I wholeheartedly believed in the mission of the CAC and I felt strongly that I could use my platform to advocate for children and families within our community.”
DiBartolo echoed the other board members in her praise for the CAC and pointed to the agency’s focus on prevention as one of its most impactful services.
“In addition to the vital programs available to victims of abuse the CAC also provides educational services; which are key in empowering adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child abuse before it ever begins. I am beyond grateful for my recent appointment to the CAC board of directors,” DiBartolo said. “Without the CAC, so many children in our community would not receive the services that are so essential to their recovery. I am eager to work alongside a board of community leaders to bring awareness to the services available to victims and their families and to aid in the prevention of child abuse throughout Oswego County.”
Damm is pleased to be welcoming the new board members and praised them for their enthusiasm and strong commitment to the CAC.
“We are fortunate to add these talented individuals to our board of directors,” said Damm. “They all recognize the need for our services and understand how these services benefit children that have been abused. Each of our new board members bring with them a wide range of skill sets and experiences and passion that will undoubtedly prove beneficial to the CAC and keep us focused on our goal of eliminating child abuse in Oswego County. We are very grateful for their energy and commitment.”
Located at 163 S. First St. in Fulton, the CAC is a non-profit organization that works hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, medical providers, mental health providers, and victim advocacy professionals in Oswego County to protect and serve child victims of sexual and physical abuse.
The CAC also has a satellite office located at 3850 State Route 13 in Pulaski.
For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call 315-592-4453 or visit www.oswegocac.org.