Earlier this month, the Children’s Advocacy Center movement in the U.S. gathered in Washington, D.C. for our annual leadership conference June 5-7, hosted by National Children’s Alliance. This year’s theme—”United For Kids”—captured the energy, vision, and commitment of CACs nationwide to strengthen services to child victims of abuse and their families. The agenda included a plenary address on youth mental health and the historical neglect of funding, research, and programs to provide solutions; a membership luncheon meeting; workshops on a variety of topics relevant to local CACs and to State Chapters; and Hill Day outreach to federal legislators.
Pennsylvania was well-represented—with team members from 13 CACs across the state and three PennCAC staff in attendance. The following counties sent CAC representatives to the conference: Allegheny, Berks, Butler, Clearfield, Dauphin, Delaware, Indiana, Lawrence, Luzerne, McKean, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Warren. Thanks to those who made the trip to D.C.!
For Hill Day outreach, Pennsylvania was pleased to meet with staff from Senator Bob Casey’s office to report on the impact of federal funding for CACs from Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA) and emphasize the need for sustaining and increasing Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds that have recently been at an all-time low. We also stopped in for a quick visit with Senator John Fetterman’s staff.
To wrap things up, we enjoyed a private tour of the Senate building and U.S. Capitol! It was fun to see behind-the-scenes and get behind the wall of cameras lining the Senate press room!