• 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

    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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 2017 Training Schedule

    Mark your calendars!

    Registration is coming soon.
    Watch your email for details to register early since our classes fill up quickly.

    2017 Statewide CAC Trainings

    February 2017

    • Southeast Regional FI Peer Review at Mission Kids
    • February 17 – Quarterly Board Meeting by Webinar

    March 2017

    • March 2 – VCAP Conference Call with Stacie Brendlinger, Claims Processing Supervisor, PCCD Victims Compensation
      Assistance Program
    • March 14 – NCA Standards Training, State College, PA
    • March 23 – Western Regional FI Peer Review in Butler, PA
    • March 30 – Western Regional Meeting, Butler, PA

    May 2017

    • May 3 – Forensic Interview Peer Review in State College, PA
    • May 9 & 10 – CAC Development Training in State College, PA
    • Southeast Regional FI Peer Review at Mission Kids
    • May 19 – Quarterly Board Meeting in State College, PA

    June 2017

    • June 4-7 – NCA Leadership Conference in Washington DC
    • June 13 & 14 – Victim Advocate Training in State College, PA
    • June 22 – Western Regional FI Peer Review in Butler, PA

    August 2017

    • Southeast Regional FI Peer Review at Mission Kids

    September  2017

    • South East Region Network Meeting, Harrisburg – TBA
    • CPIP 1/Tailored Team Development – TBA
    • September 28 – Western Regional FI Peer Review

    October 2017

    • North East Region Meeting in Scranton, PA – TBA
    • October 20 – Quarterly Board Meeting in State College, PA
    • October 13 – Western Region Meeting in Butler, PA
    • Court Prep Training – TBA

    November 2017

    • Coordinator Training in State College, PA – TBA
    • November 1 – Forensic Interview Peer Review in State College
    • November 8 – Southeast Regional FI Peer Review at Mission Kids

    December 2017

    • December 14 – Western Regional FI Peer Review

    Forensic Interviewing of Children

    Huntsville, AL


    Victim Advocacy

    Huntsville, AL


    Extended Forensic Interview



    Advanced Forensic Interviewing



    Customized On-Location Training

    Available Upon Request


    International Training

    Available Upon Request


    Online Training

    Available 24/7 – Free of Charge

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  • 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.


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