FULTON, NY â€“ Diane Cooper-Currier, president of the board of directors for the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County announced that Karrie Damm has been named executive director of the agency.
Damm, who received her Masterâ€™s Degree from Syracuse University, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
She most recently worked as the director of Child Welfare Services for The Salvation Army of Syracuse.
Prior to that, Damm worked as a clinical director for Catholic Charities of Oswego County and as a mental health therapist with the Victims of Violence Program at Liberty Resources in Oneida.
Damm said she is happy to be associated with the CAC and is looking forward to the challenges of being the executive director.
â€œI have great respect for the work that the CAC does. When I worked with the Victims of Violence program in Madison County, I worked as a Mental Health Representative for the Multi-Disciplinary Team. It was there that I learned to appreciate the way the system comes together to support the victims and the family after a trauma has occurred. Once you work in this field you realize how rewarding it is to help families heal and work to craft a community response. Education and informing parents of the emotional assistance that is available is vital in dealing with these incidences,â€ said Damm.
Cooper-Currier cited Dammâ€™s experience and enthusiasm for helping children and their families as key factors in her appointment as executive director of the CAC.
â€œKarrie was selected as a result of not only her extensive experience in the child welfare field and in working with abused and neglected children and their families, but also as a result of her passion and commitment for this work. Her background demonstrates her ability to partner with law enforcement, Social Service agencies, schools, health care providers and other critical partners to create a team approach to assisting abused children and their non-offending family supports to begin their healing process and achieve the best possible outcome for children,â€ she said.
As executive director, Damm will oversee all aspects and programs of the CAC, including seminars for first responders, parent support groups, and the agencyâ€™s multi-disciplinary team.
She will also be responsible for maintaining strong, working relationships with other agencies and organizations that deal with child abuse in Oswego County.
â€œI am looking forward to meeting and strengthening our relationships with the countyâ€™s family court system, our law enforcement personnel, and other human services agencies that deal with child abuse issues. My experience and the partnerships that I forged with similar entities in neighboring counties will be beneficial as we seek to achieve greater community outreach and further collaboration with our partners that will allow us provide comprehensive services to our consumers in a strength based way,â€ said Damm.
While Damm has only been at the CAC for a few weeks, she already has a clear vision for the future of the agency.
â€œMy immediate goals are to see that our move to a new location is as seamless as possible, that our annual Blue Ribbon Ride fundraiser in August is successful, and to develop other fundraising opportunities that not only raise funds for the agency, but also raise community awareness of the CAC and the positive impact that we have on Oswego County. As for the future, I would like to see the agency expand by adding additional family advocates and more therapists. I would also like to work towards establishing our office as a co-location site where we would have representatives form the district attorneyâ€™s office and area law enforcement agencies on-site so that children and their parents would be able to be seen upon arrival rather than having to wait until an appointment can be scheduled. Child Advocacy Centers in other counties currently utilize the co-location concept and ultimately I would like to be able to offer that benefit to our consumers,â€ said Damm.
Located at 370 S. Fourth St., Fulton, the CAC of Oswego County is a non-profit charitable organization that serves as a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse.
Working together with law enforcement investigators, child protective services, medical providers, therapeutic professionals, victim support professionals, and the district attorneyâ€™s office, the CAC provides a range of services to children who have been physically or sexually abused and looks to maintain a well-coordinated, effective approach to child abuse investigation and prosecution, and service provision to families and individuals affected by child abuse.
For more information on the CAC, call 592-4453.