FULTON, NY – Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, announced that Jessica Westberry has been chosen as the CAC’s Outreach and Prevention Advocate.
Westberry most recently worked at the Hillside Children’s Center in Fulton as a skill builder for its Youth & Families Come First program and taught pre-school.
In her new role at the CAC, Westberry will work closely with CAC partner agencies regarding best practices for the community prevention of child abuse and fatalities.
A major component of that will be the oversight of the CAC’s Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training initiative, a two-hour adult specific training that provides community members that are mandated to look out for the safety of children while in school, during sports or other after school activities, church groups, or anywhere children gather with a better understanding of what child abuse is and how it happens.
Currently a member of Prevention Support Partners of Oswego County, Westberry is also looking forward to being the CAC’s Safe Harbour coordinator, a new position that serves as the point of contact for victims of commercial sexual exploitation and child trafficking.
“Jessica will be instrumental in establishing and maintaining a Safe Harbour Critical Team,” said Damm. “An initiative of New York State, Safe Harbour is a child welfare-led system response to enhance identification and service delivery to trafficked, exploited, and at risk youth. We are currently developing a strategic plan that includes assessments, needed services, and an effective way to deliver these services to those in need. Jessica will coordinate and facilitate meetings and trainings, provide guidance to programs or agencies that respond to human trafficking, creating an asset map of services in Oswego County and will be collecting and reviewing data related to commercial sexual exploitation of children.”
“I’m excited about the challenges ahead of me,” said Westberry. “I appreciate the opportunity to be able to work with other professionals, as well as community members, regarding training and assessments. One of my first objectives is to reach out to the district attorney’s office, and local law enforcement agencies as well as the hospital and urgent care units as they are often exposed to children with injuries. Working together we can focus on assessments and methods that may help identify who these special victims are, and how to coordinate services to make sure they get the help they need.”
“Jessica is a welcome addition to our staff,” added Damm. “Her past experience and her passion for helping youth and building connections between families and other professionals will serve her well as she takes on her important role at the CAC.”
The CAC of Oswego County works hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, medical providers, therapy providers, and victim advocacy professionals in Oswego County to protect and serve children that are victims of sexual and physical abuse.
“The CAC does amazing work, added Westberry. “I’m impressed with its mission and the array of services and support it provides. Everyone here has the children’s best interest at heart. I’m pleased to be joining this talented staff and am looking forward to doing my part in making Oswego County safe for our children.”
The next Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training will be held April 17 beginning at 7 p.m. at the CAC main office, 163 S.First St., Fulton.
For more information on the CAC, or to sign up for the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training, contact the CAC at 315-59CHILD (315-592-4453) or visit or www.oswegocac.org/events.
Located at 163 S. First St., Fulton, the CAC also maintains a satellite office at 4822 Salina St., Pulaski.
For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call 315-59CHILD (592-4453), visit www.oswegocac.org and follow them on Facebook.