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Abbie Newman to Present at
ISPCAN European Regional Conference

Abbie Newman, Executive Director,
Mission Kids CAC of Montgomery County

Abbie Newman, Executive Director, Mission Kids CAC of Montgomery County will be a presenter at the 15th ISPCAN European Regional Conference held in The Hague, Netherlands from October 1-4, 2017. The Conference Theme is: Multi-disciplinary interagency approaches to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

ISPCAN’s mission is to prevent cruelty to children in every nation, in every form: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, street children, child fatalities, child prostitution, children of war, emotional abuse, and child labor.

ISPCAN is committed to increasing public awareness of all forms of violence against children, developing activities to prevent such violence, and promoting the rights of children in all regions of the world.

To learn more about the ISPCAN European Conference go to: https://www.ispcan.org/ispcan-event/15th-ispcan-european-regional-conference-on-child-abuse-neglect/


Support the PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs through
Erie Gives on Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day and Time: The event takes place on August 8. You have 12 hours to make your donation between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST.

Gift Amount: The minimum gift is $25. There is no limit to the amount of money you may give. There is no limit to the number of organizations you can donate to in a transaction.

Credit Cards: Only Visa, MasterCard and Discover will be accepted. The credit card processor charges a nominal fee per transaction. The Erie Community Foundation does not receive any fees. Sorry, credit card gift cards will not be accepted.

How to Give:

Go to
 www.eriegives.org

Two ways to find us:

  1. Under “Nonprofit Name or Keyword” enter PA Chapter then click “Search”. PA Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams will come up as a hyperlink, click this hyperlink.

  2. Under “Category” choose Children and Youth in the drop-down. Then we are listed in alphabetical order under PA Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams.

Prorated Match: The Erie Community Foundation and their sponsors will enhance each donor gift by providing a prorated match to each gift made to our nonprofit.

Your Receipt: You will receive an email receipt of your gift, which you should retain for tax purposes. Unless you choose to remain anonymous, your donor information will be sent to the appropriate organizations.

When will the Nonprofits receive your donation: The nonprofits will receive your donation plus The Erie Community Foundation’s prorated match on Friday, August 25, 2017 at the Erie Gives Check Distribution Day.

April Proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month

Western PA CARES for Kids plants a pinwheel garden box

Jefferson County Commissioners proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention month. D.A. Burkett and Western PA CARES for Kids CAC Director, Pat Berger gave speeches at the proclamation meeting, and presented the commissioners with lapel pins and a pinwheel basket.

Blue ribbon car magnets were given to the commissioners, CAC staff, all CAC board members, and all members of the county’s MDIT. Since many of the businesses in the community lack lawns for pinwheel gardens, Western PA CARES for Kids made pinwheel baskets with signage to display in their storefront windows. These baskets and signs went to all of the libraries in the County, a local hospital, a local toy store, the YMCA, doctor offices, local banks, and other businesses. The libraries have each independently requested to keep the baskets displayed year-long as a reminder. Other businesses and schools posted signage in public areas.

Western PA CARES for Kids also made a pinwheel garden box which is displayed in the front yard of the CAC.

Pinwheel baskets adorn the community of Rose Township, PA

The Child Abuse Prevention Proclamation was featured in the Jeffersonian Democrat.


Mission Kids Plants 522 Pinwheels

Pinwheels were planted in honor of the children served by the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Center

Mission Kids partnered with local law enforcement members, mental health providers, Assistant District Attorneys, Board members, public officials and other community supporters to plant 522 Pinwheels in honor of the children served by the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Center. The pinwheels raise awareness about April’s Child Abuse Awareness month. “The more we talk about child abuse the more we bring awareness to it and the less of a stigma there is to it,” said Mission Kids Executive Director, Abbie Newman. “The less of a stigma, the more likely people are to report it if they think that something is happening. And that’s the only way to end child abuse, is to have people in the community aware that it’s out there.”

From the left: Michael Rodriguez, MD (Board Member), Chief Robert McDyre (Lansdale PD), Christine Schreiner (Lansdale PD), Abbie Newman (Executive Director; Mission Kids); Chief Karyl Katies (East Norriton PD); Chief Tim Dickinson (Towamencin PD); Det. Sgt. Mike Trail (Lansdale PD); Leslie Slingsby (Associate Director; Mission Kids); Andy Trentacoste (Creative Health Services); Kim Arrowood (Mission Kids); Crystal Gray (Mission Kids); ADA Kristen Feden (Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office); Dave Morris (Board Member); Kala Fell (Children’s Crisis Treatment Center); ADA Stew Ryan (Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office); Meaghan Kerper (Mission Kids); Ofc. Cristi Soto (East Norriton PD).

From the left: Chief Robert McDyre (Lansdale PD), Abbie Newman (Executive Director; Mission Kids); Chief Tim Dickinson (Towamencin PD); Det. Sgt. Mike Trail (Lansdale PD)

“Pinwheels for Prevention” was featured in the Montgomery Media.


Helping abused kids speak up

By Holly Herman, Reading Eagle

Some children burst through the door with wide eyes and bright smiles.

Others look sad and distant.

Whatever the case, when children arrive at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, teddy bears, snacks and books await them in the lobby.

The atmosphere is soothing, like a pediatrician’s office.

The children are there to tell staff members their experiences with abuse. The accounts could be admissible in court, if necessary.

“A child who has been traumatized can heal,” said Abbie R. Newman, executive director of the nonprofit in East Norriton Township, a 10-minute drive from the county courthouse. “It can be traumatic for a child to go to court and talk about abuse. The only way to stop child abuse is for society to keep talking about it.”

Newman said the location for Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center was selected because it’s central for all residents of the county.

Since child abuse has come to the forefront following the investigation and subsequent conviction of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, reports of child abuse have escalated.

The number of child abuse complaints in Pennsylvania rose from 24,378 in 2011 to 40,590 in 2015, a 66.5 percent increase.

“Child abuse is not new,” Newman said. “It is a severely underreported crime, with as few as 1 in 10 cases being reported.”

But Newman said that since the widespread coverage on the Sandusky case and the change in Pennsylvania’s mandatory reporting laws in 2015, there are more child abuse cases being reported statewide. The advocacy center, meanwhile, experienced a 64 percent increase in the number of children it served, from 364 in 2011 to 598 in 2015. That number dipped to 522 in 2016.

Newman estimated that 15 percent to 19 percent of children the center serves come from municipalities in the Pottstown area.

Newman said research indicates that when child abuse investigations are handled through a child advocacy center, there is a shorter time for disposition of cases, resulting in more plea agreements. Additionally, caregiver and child satisfaction rates are higher, and there are more appropriate referrals to mental health services.

County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said the advocacy center provides a much more comfortable environment for children than a police station.

“It’s child friendly,” Steele said. “In the old days, the child had to be interviewed many times. If a kid reported it at school, the kid was interviewed by a school counselor, the police, a prosecutor and social service worker. With Mission Kids, there is one interview by a person trained in forensics. The child doesn’t have to be traumatized again and again.”

The children are referred to the agency by county Children and Youth Services and the district attorney’s office.

When a family arrives, the adults talk with a family advocate, while the children are interviewed in private rooms.

Newman said the interviewer is neutral, asking nonleading questions to elicit detailed information.

The room where the younger children are interviewed has crayons and coloring books. The room for adolescents has soft, comfortable chairs.

The interview is recorded and viewed by law enforcement officials, caseworkers and prosecutors.

Maggie Sweeney, a forensic interviewer, said the interviewer follows a national protocol.

“When the child provides details, it will facilitate the investigation,” she said.

The spotlight on prosecuting offenders for child abuse gained momentum as a result of the Sandusky case. Sandusky is serving a 30-to-60-year sentence in state prison after he was convicted of molesting 10 boys he met through The Second Mile, a nonprofit he founded.

Legislation enacted in 2014 requires people in professional or supervisory roles to report child abuse by phone to ChildLine at 800-932-0313 and follow that with a written report within 48 hours.

http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/helping-abused-kids-speak-up


Children’s Advocacy Center marks 10 years

By Christopher Dornblaser, York Dispatch

After a decade serving vulnerable youth of York County, the Children’s Advocacy Center officially took ownership of its South Queen Street building Thursday.

The county used a grant in 2006 to purchase the building for use by the center. Under the terms, if the center used the building for the next 10 years, it could assume ownership.

That happened last week during a small ceremony in which the center’s board president, Fairview Township Police Chief Jason Loper, was given a ceremonial golden key to the building at 28 S. Queen St.

Loper, formerly a detective with his department, commended the effects the advocacy center has had on the handling of child abuse cases. Loper said that before becoming chief, he dealt with child abuse cases and worked with the advocacy center during those times.

The chief said before the center came into existence, all of the organizations that deal with a case of child abuse might have had to speak with the victim individually. The center provides a location for the children where all organizations can be centrally involved.

“It’s so much easier on the kids and families,” Loper said.

He added that children can even receive medical exams there.

“It’s a much more uniform process,” he said, comparing it to how cases were handled before the center existed.

4,100 kids: In 10 years, the center has assisted about 4,100 children. Executive Director Deb Harrison called the caseload a challenge, but she said the people in the organization are happy they have been there for the kids.

The number of children they have helped this year is about 800, Harrison said, an increase from the 684 assisted in 2015.

She said the center serves as a “first step” for kids in the child abuse cases, and the center’s trained interviewers speak with them first. Harrison said at one point the center dealt within a smaller age range, but in recent years the coverage was changed so it deals with all York County minors, ages 3 to 17, for child abuse cases.

“That change was really good,” she said.

York County President Commissioner Susan Byrnes was among the many attending the event. She praised the work being done at the center.

“Unfortunately, it’s very valuable work,” she said.

Byrnes said that without the center, potential abuse victims would be sent to the emergency room.

“I think it would be much scarier for the children,” she said.

Byrnes described the center as having a “home” feeling and setting, which helps children feel more comfortable.

“We’re very lucky in York County to have this,” she said.

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/2016/12/16/childrens-advocacy-center-marks-10-years/95491880/


PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Presents Minimal Facts Interview Training for Clarion, Forest & Jefferson Counties – Friday, August 19, 2016

Clarion, Forest & Jefferson Counties MFI Training

Pictured left to right:  Pat Berger, Director, Western PA Cares for Kids; Jeff Burkett, Jefferson County District Attorney; Connie Miller, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Program Manager & Trainer; Mikele Bay, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Vice President & Trainer

The PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs designed the Minimal Facts Training program to help counties throughout Pennsylvania better understand the importance of having a trained professional conduct the Minimal Facts Interview of a child.

Minimal Facts Interviews conducted by a trained professional helps:

  • Protect disclosure;
  • Avoid interview duplication;
  • Reduce trauma;
  • Reduce taint;
  • Protect evidence;
  • Ensure Best Practices intervention for alleged child abuse victims.

If your county is interested scheduling, or learning more about the Minimal Facts Interview Training program please contact Alison Gray, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Executive Director at alisongray@penncac.org.


PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Presents Minimal Facts Interview Training for Cameron, Elk, McKean & Potter Counties – Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cameron, Elk, McKean & Potter Counties MFI Training

Pictured left to right:  Mikele Bay, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Vice President & Trainer; Connie Miller, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Program Manager & Trainer; Scott Nelson, Detective, McKean County DA’s Office; Tonia Hartzell, Family Advocate, CAC of McKean County; Mindi Brown, Forensic Interviewer, CAC of McKean County; Andy Watson, District Attorney, Potter County.

The PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs designed the Minimal Facts Training program to help counties throughout Pennsylvania better understand the importance of having a trained professional conduct the Minimal Facts Interview of a child.

Minimal Facts Interviews conducted by a trained professional helps:

  • Protect disclosure;
  • Avoid interview duplication;
  • Reduce trauma;
  • Reduce taint;
  • Protect evidence;
  • Ensure Best Practices intervention for alleged child abuse victims.

If your county is interested scheduling, or learning more about the Minimal Facts Interview Training program please contact Alison Gray, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Executive Director at alisongray@penncac.org.


Clearfield CAC Hosts Open House with PCCD Chairman Josh Shapiro & PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Minimal Facts Training – Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Grand Opening Picture

Pictured right to left:  Connie Miller, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Program Manager & Trainer; Randi Reichard, Forensic Interviewer; Christine Semelsberger, Forensic Interviewer; Mikele Bay, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Vice President & Trainer; Tonya Weitoish, CYFS Supervisor; Melinda Noel, Forensic Interviewer; Mary Tatum, CAC/MDIT Coordinator; Drena Pry, CFO of CenClear; Josh Shapiro, PCCD Chairman; William Shaw Jr., District Attorney; Pauline Raab, CEO of CenClear; and Jendi Schwab, Assistant District Attorney

On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, Clearfield Children’s Advocacy Center welcomed Josh Shapiro, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD); as well as Connie Miller and Mikele Bay, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs trainers, as part of the PA Chapter of CACs /MDITs statewide Minimal Facts Interview Training program.

The PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs designed the Minimal Facts Training program to help counties throughout Pennsylvania better understand the importance of having a trained professional conduct the Minimal Facts Interview of a child.

Minimal Facts Interviews conducted by a trained professional helps:

  • Protect disclosure;
  • Avoid interview duplication;
  • Reduce trauma;
  • Reduce taint;
  • Protect evidence;
  • Ensure Best Practices intervention for alleged child abuse victims.

If your county is interested scheduling, or learning more about the Minimal Facts Interview Training program please contact Alison Gray, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Executive Director at alisongray@penncac.org.

Clearfield MFI Training Smaller Image

Pictured right to left:  Connie Miller, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs Program Manager & Trainer; Drena Pry, CFO of CenClear; Mikele Bay, PA Chapter of CACs/MDITs; Melinda Noel, Forensic Interviewer; and Pauline Raab, CEO of CenClear

people-holding-thank-you-sky-many-word-33681268

The PA Chapter of CACs and MDTs raised $1,213.00 on Erie Gives Day because of the generous support of our CACs, MDITs and the community.

Thank you for helping us help the children of Pennsylvania!

 

erie gives_pa chapter of cacs and mdtsErie Gives – Donate Today, August 9!

Support the PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs through Erie Gives on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.

Day and Time: The event takes place on August 9. You have 12 hours to make your donation between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST.

Gift Amount: The minimum gift is $25. There is no limit to the amount of money you may give. There is no limit to the number of organizations you can donate to in a transaction.

Credit Cards: Only Visa, MasterCard and Discover will be accepted. The credit card processor charges a nominal fee per transaction. The Erie Community Foundation does not receive any fees. Sorry, credit card gift cards will not be accepted.

How to Give: Go to ErieGives.org

Learn More


February 2016:  PA Chapter for Children’s Advocacy Centers & Multidisciplinary Teams Presents Minimal Facts Interview Training in Pike County, Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties, Monroe County, and Cambria County

Minimal Facts Interview Training in Pike County, PA

Pike County Minimal Facts Interview Training Feb 2016-edit
Pictured left to right: Connie Miller, Program Manager, PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs; Melissa Wagner, PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs Outreach Manager & Mentor, and Executive Director, Child Advocacy Center of the Central Susquehanna Valley; Mikele Bay, PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs Vice President & Mentor, and Executive Director, Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County; and Raymond J. Tonkin, District Attorney, Pike County, PA

Minimal Facts Interview Training in Monroe County, PA

PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs Minimal Facts Interview Training in Monroe County, PA_02           Monroe County Training Photo

Pictured left to right: Connie Miller, Program Manager, PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs; Curtis Rogers, Assistant District Attorney, and Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center, Monroe County; Adelaide Grace, CYS Administrator, Monroe County; and Mikele Bay, PA Chapter of CACs & MDTs Vice President & Mentor, and Executive Director, Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County

Minimal Facts Interview Training in Cambria County, PA

Cambria Pix 1

Pictured left to right: Kelly Callihan, District Attorney; Betzi White, Children and Youth Service Administrator; Jackie Boslet, Victim Advocate; Michele Shannon, Children and Youth Service Supervisor; Diana Grosik, CAC Director; Pam Vyhonsky, SANE Nurse; Beth Bolton-Penna, Assistant District Attorney; Lia DeMarco, County Detective; Mark Britton, Detective – Johnstown PD