Reflections of the Executive Director
By Tom Soma
Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story. — Josh Shipp
Early this summer, we were visited by Dr. Cliff Walters and his daughter, Jamie—trustees of the Walters Family Foundation, and long-time supporters. At one point, Dr. Walters asked a small group of staff members to describe our “product” in a single word.
“Hope,” volunteered one. “Love,” said a second. “Change,” concluded a third.
My answer to Dr. Walters is “them.” Our product is our people. And if I could turn their words into a sentence, it would be this: “Through their extraordinary love, Children’s Center staff members offer neglected and abused children hope that change is possible.”
At Children’s Center, we believe that “every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” We certainly are caring adults. And last year, we significantly impacted 462 kids, each of whom received comprehensive evaluations during an incredibly difficult time in their lives. By minimizing the trauma these children have endured, we’ve increased the likelihood of their realizing their full potential and becoming a success.
Over the past year, there’s been much more to celebrate—starting with Children’s Center’s recognition by Oregon Business Magazine’s as one of the “100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon” (we actually ranked eighth among medium-sized organizations and 20th overall).
ANNUAL REPORT 2016-2017
THE MISSION OF CHILDREN'S CENTER
To support and medically assess children who are suspected victims of abuse or neglect.
stories from the year
Uniting community leaders and partners in Clackamas County, a visionary District Attorney helps establish critical child abuse intervention and assessment services for local children and families to access quality care. As a celebrated speaker, author, and creator of Erin’s Law, she visited more than 60 child advocacy centers around the country to share her story of resilience and empowerment.
Revisit the HIGHLIGHTS OF thE Year at Children’s Center
Children's Center Board Member and Clackamas County District Attorney
Children's Center Forensic Interviewer
2012 Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year and creator of Erin’s Law
Child Abuse Assessment Services
Medical Providers perform a head-to-toe examination to determine and document a child’s health and safety. With the training required to identify and treat signs of abuse, Medical Providers use their findings to make recommendations to law enforcement, child protective workers and family members.
Digitally recorded forensic interviews, observed by investigators, are provided so children can share their stories in a safe and neutral setting, guided by specialists who are trained to talk to children and adolescents – minimizing the trauma of multiple interviews.
Each year, Children’s Center conducts medical assessments and interviews for more than 450 Clackamas County children who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect—as well as providing resources, referrals, or other support to more than 300 additional families.
Children’s Center is a trusted source for information and referrals related to child abuse intervention and prevention. The Center’s clinical staff regularly fields inquiries from community members, parents, medical and education professionals, and referring partners or agencies seeking advice or access to resources for a variety of child safety concerns.
Children’s Center is the designated medical provider for Clackamas County children when injuries are suspected to be the result of physical abuse. Under Karly’s Law, these children must be seen within 48-hours of when the injury was documented.
Family Support Services
Support, consultation, referrals and education are offered to all families in Clackamas County, whether or not their children are seen at Children’s Center.
Response to Inappropriately Sexualized Kids (RISK) Outreach
RISK was established to provide support, education, resources and intervention to children eleven years and younger who demonstrate sexually inappropriate behavior. Children’s Center contacts families in these cases with a goal of addressing the behaviors before they escalate to a level that necessitates juvenile justice involvement.
PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN
Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children®
Children’s Center provides the Stewards of Children® curriculum to educational institutions, businesses and organizations, faith centers, other caregivers, and all individuals who care for or are concerned about children in our community. The program includes practical steps to reduce opportunities for abuse to occur, while equipping adults with tools to support children when concerns of abuse arise.
Our teams of physicians, nurse practitioners, forensic interviewers, mental health providers, educators, and qualified volunteers provide presentations, training, and consultations for local groups who are interested in learning more about services and programs of Children’s Center.
Children’s Center supports school districts, law enforcement agencies, child protection workers, health care providers, caregivers and families, and other professionals who work with youth to prevent and respond skillfully to concerns of abuse.
recognizing our champions
Thank you to our generous donors and champions who supported Children’s Center in the 2016-2017 fiscal year!
We imagine an Oregon where no child has to bear the burden of abuse. Our Monthly Champions step up for kids by generously giving each month.
OUR LOYAL SUPPORTERS
Thank you to our loyal supporters for making it possible for Children's Center to serve hundreds of children and families in Clackamas County this year!
Honoring our community of supporters, please view our list of in-kind gifts made in 2016-17. Gift amounts in this section will always remain confidential.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
In November of 2016, Children's Center unveiled the Hope and Healing Community Blog. With a focus on sharing survivor stories, providing prevention and safety tips for caregivers, and introducing readers to our professional staff, we also featured many simple ways each of us can help build a safer, healthier world for kids.
MAY 19, 2017
One Simple Thing: Read a Book Aloud!
"The bottom line: by reading aloud to a child, or by making it easier for others to do so, you will be helping to change a life. In the process, you may be helping to change the world," writes Children's Center Executive Director, Tom Soma.
JUNE 27, 2017
Another Simple Thing: Eat Dinner Together
According to The Family Dinner Project, a Harvard-based non-profit, "Research has shown what parents have known for a long time: Sharing a fun family meal is good for the spirit, brain and health of all family members."
July 24, 2017
TAKE A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY
“Children’s developing sensory, motor, and attachment systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology,” writes pediatric occupational therapist, Cris Rowan.