Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center Sponsors 10-Year Anniversary Brunch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Saturday, April 20, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Talbot Community Connections (TCC) will host an event at Calhoon MEBA Engineering School to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (TCCAC). The Center opened in 2003 with a partnership between the Talbot County Department of Social Services and Shore Health System. These two partnering organizations, along with agencies represented on the multi-disciplinary team and volunteers dedicated to serving victims of child abuse, implemented a more compassionate and effective way to bring services to Talbot County children victimized by sexual abuse.

Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center will also be hosting a Blue Ribbon Event on April 9, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Memorial Hospital at Easton. Representatives from Law Enforcement, The State’s Attorney’s Office, the Departments of Social Services in the Upper Shore Region, Shore Health System, and TCCAC pediatricians, will tie blue ribbons on a tree. The ribbons, representing every child who in the last year received services through TCCAC, will remain on the tree for the month of April. This event is open to the public.

Prior to 2003, many services necessary for child sexual abuse victims and their families were not available in the Mid-Shore region. The Talbot County Department of Social Services and Shore Health System partnered to create the Children’s Advocacy Center, implementing a multi-disciplinary team approach to the investigative and judicial handling of child maltreatment cases. This new approach included the provision of forensic medical exams, initial mental health needs assessments, family advocacy services, and other supportive services, to all child sexual abuse victims in a child-friendly, central location. The services provided by TCCAC were further enhanced in 2006 with the addition of an on-site, licensed mental health professional. TCCAC, an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance, provides forensic medical examinations for children from Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.

April Sharp, Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, comments, “We are pleased to be celebrating 10 years of hope and healing for victims of sexual abuse and their families. We hope this celebration will raise further awareness about the critical service the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center provides to our community.”

Kami Morris, Coordinator of TCCAC, adds, “We want to recognize our partners in the multi-disciplinary team which enable us to provide services to the victims and their families on the Mid-Shore, including our pediatricians and nurses, Shore Health System, the State’s Attorney’s Office, our mental health therapist, the Talbot County Sheriff’s Department, the Maryland State Police, the Easton Police Department, the St. Michael’s Police Department, and the Trappe Police Department. In addition to grant funds, the Center operates on donated funds from the community. We are grateful for the in-kind donations from individuals and local participating agencies. The generous contribution of space and facility infrastructure from Shore Health Systems is essential to keep our doors open.”

Talbot Community Connections, a 14-member volunteer nonprofit board, was formed to raise funds to enhance the Talbot County Department of Social Services’ capacity to respond directly to problems of safety and well-being of county citizens. The funds raised by TCC help abused children through TCCAC, families in crisis, the unemployed and working poor, and disabled and frail elderly. In 2012, TCC provided $9,800 to the TCCAC.

Tickets to the 10th Anniversary Brunch honoring the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center cost $30 a person. Reservations are required by April 8, 2013. To register, visit talbotcac.org or call Kelley Werner at 410-770-4848.

In photo: Talbot Community Connections (TCC) will host an event honoring the 10th Anniversary of the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (TCCAC) on Saturday, April 20, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Calhoon MEBA Engineering School in Easton. Members of the brunch planning committee seated left to right are Diane Shaffer, Assistant Director of Child Welfare Services and Workforce Support for the Talbot County Department of Social Services; Kami Morris, Coordinator of the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center; April Sharp, Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services; and Javana Bowser, Talbot Community Connections board member.

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