Newsletter

June 25, 2020

 

What Healing and Trust Means

In past newsletter messages we have discussed how our member Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) help to provide healing and restore trust for child abuse victims and their families. So, for this month’s message, our Board of Directors, staff and I met to reflect on what this truly means for the child victims we serve as we chart a path through difficult times.

The South Carolina Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers (SCNCAC) condemns racial injustice and interpersonal violence of all forms. Our Network serves child victims and, to do so, works hand-in-hand with law enforcement and child protective services. We are keenly aware of the need for understanding and sensitivity to do this work well. Racial injustice stretches beyond one profession and implicit biases affect all of us.

We know that racial bias impacts the response to child abuse. National studies show that children of all racial and ethnic groups experience sexual and severe physical abuse at similar rates, yet children of color are referred to child welfare at higher rates and overrepresented in foster care. We are committed to action which will help lessen and remove the impact racial bias has on our child abuse response systems.

Our collaborations with systems serving youth and our focus on children make Children’s Advocacy Centers uniquely positioned to work to eliminate the impact of systemic racism on child victims. We are committed to safeguarding equity for children in our state in the following ways:

  • We will take time for introspection, to learn and listen with humility and to reflect on our own biases. We will be open to and invite feedback.
  • We will establish a Safeguarding Equity Committee. The goal will be twofold:
    • Plan statewide trainings on both education and action to reduce racial bias in Children’s Advocacy Center services.
    • Establish processes to reduce implicit bias, such as automating referral processes with partners so that referrals for services to our statewide CAC database are made regardless of background.
  • We will convene and engage with our multidisciplinary partners to have the difficult but necessary conversations that will help us to effect change together.

On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors here at SCNCAC, know that we stand with all of you who strive to provide healing and trust for the children and families we serve. We look forward to working with all of you toward a common goal so that all of South Carolina’s children can feel safe and thrive.

In unity and hope,

Tom

Thomas Knapp
Executive Director

 

Database Integration to Help All Kids in Need

In late 2019 the SCNCAC statewide CAC Collaborate database was launched in South Carolina. The launch of this database was a culmination of years of committee and design work. The database projects goals were to help prevent duplication of services, help to better allocate mental health, medical, and other resources in rural and economically disadvantaged areas of South Carolina, and to prevent child abuse cases from falling through the cracks which can occur with disconnected systems.

In our ongoing efforts to provide healing and trust for all children in South Carolina, work was scheduled to begin later this year to automate referrals for Children's Advocacy Center services which, in addition to many other benefits, will help to reduce any potential implicit bias from referral decisions. In response to multiple recent events across the country and our commitment to action which can help remove the impact racial bias has on our response to child abuse, we have accelerated the work on this portion of the database project. With the assistance of an emergency grant from a private foundation, we began work this month with our database contractor, the SC Department of Social Services (DSS), and our Children's Advocacy Centers to automate referrals from the DSS database to our SCNCAC Collaborate database. This integration has far reaching potential and we are thankful to DSS for their collaboration and commitment to this project. We will keep you updated on this and our other efforts to help reduce the impact of racial bias on our statewide response to child abuse.

 

COVID-19 Impact on Trainings & Events

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and escalating numbers in South Carolina, we have made the decision to change all of our scheduled meetings and trainings to a virtual platform for the remainder of 2020. Any trainings or events that cannot be reasonably moved to a virtual platform have been cancelled and will be rescheduled for sometime in 2021. 

Unfortunately, this does include our annual Children's Advocacy Center Day and awards luncheon which was rescheduled from April to October but has now been canceled. We look forward to seeing all of you in April of 2021 for our CAC day press conference and awards luncheon. Here at SCNCAC, we value the health and safety of our agency partners and are committed to doing our part in flattening the curve while still supporting our CACs and multidisciplinary team professionals. You can click on the calendar image above or use the link at the bottom of this page to view our calendar of events.

 

Upcoming Events

Below is a list of upcoming events for 2020. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or wish to add an event to our list. We do not have any of our agency partner events listed this month as we are trying to confirm which of these outside events are being held virtually or are being rescheduled. We will once again include other agency events in next months newsletter.

August 10:
SCNCAC Virtual Advanced Level Family Advocacy Training:
Motivational Interviewing

August 21:
SCNCAC Virtual Membership & Board Meetings

August 26:
SCNCAC Virtual Forensic Interview Peer Review

August 28:
SCNCAC Virtual Forensic Interview Peer Review

September 1:
SCNCAC Virtual Forensic Interview Peer Review

October 16:
SCNCAC Membership & Board Meetings

November 6:
SCNCAC Virtual Statewide Forensic Interview Peer Review

December 11:
S
CNCAC Membership & Board Meetings

South Carolina Network of Children's Advocacy Centers
1300 Pickens Street, Suite 158, Columbia, SC 29208
803-576-7250  I  www.cac-sc.org

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