During our #KindnessCampaign (you can read about it here) we delivered flowers to Kimber Tower, Executive Director of UVCAC. When we arrived, she graciously offered to give us – Dakri, Dawson, and Adriana – a tour of their facility and an introduction to what they do. As we walked through their building and Kimber explained the tough situations that they work to resolve, our hearts broke. We knew we wanted to support them in any way that we could.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is a great time to learn about the signs of child abuse and how to prevent it. The Children’s Bureau has created a great booklet for families of ways that promote and build upon strengths and enable safe care of children. Click the following link to check it out:
The child abuse statistics are heartbreaking, we share these to promote awareness and prevention. Here are some national statistics to help you understand the dire need for organizations like UVCAC, from the 2019 Child Maltreatment Report:
- Approximately 2 million children received prevention services in 2019.
- Approximately 1.3 million children received post-response services (such as family preservation, family support, or foster care) because of needs discovered during an investigation or alternative response.
- During Federal fiscal year 2019, fewer than one-quarter (22.9 percent) of confirmed maltreatment victims were removed from their homes because of an investigation or alternative response.
The following is from the UVCAC team – if you’d like to reach out to donate or find other ways to help, we’ve included their contact information at the end of this article!
“Our mission is to meet the needs of children and families in our community by providing a child focused center that is dedicated to healing, understanding, and belief by using a collaborative approach to the identification, prevention, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse.
The Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center is a safe place for kids who may have been abused. The center brings a team of specially trained professionals who evaluate and investigate cases of child abuse and help children and their families.
A forensic interview is a child-friendly, neutral manner of gathering information about an alleged incident or incidents of child abuse. The purposes of the forensic interview are to gather information for criminal and child safety investigations, to assist a child victim in telling their story in a way that is sensitive to the trauma they have been through, and to determine appropriate and necessary services for the child.
While a child is being forensically interviewed, their non-offending caregiver meets with a Child Advocate. The Child Advocate provides education on the upcoming processes, which can include: court advocacy and accompaniment, counseling referrals, medical exam, and any services available to additional members of the family. The Child Advocate also assists the caregiver with any paperwork deemed necessary, which often includes Crime Victim’s Compensation and Civil Protection Orders. They are also able to share information with the caregiver on the future safety planning and offer emotional support.
Here are Upper Valley CAC we believe that prevention is intervention. We provide trainings for our community such as “hope Conquers ACES” and Stewards of Children “Darkness to Light.” We also provide abuse prevention programs in our local schools; “Safer, Smarter Kids!” and Botvin LifeSkills Training. This school year alone we have taught six elementary schools in our area. These programs are designed to empower children and increase our community awareness for our mission.”
While it’s not easy to talk about hard subjects like this, we believe that it is incredibly important to do so.
Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center
162 N Yellowstone Hwy
Rigby, ID 83442