Children's Advocacy Center of Lawrence County

Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County          

Last year in Lawrence County, there were 198 investigated cases of child abuse - physical, sexual and severe neglect. 
 
The Children's Advocacy Center of Lawrence County is a private non-profit agency affiliated with Jameson Health System. The main goal of the Children's Advocacy Center is to improve the community's response to child abuse and neglect and to minimize the trauma to children and their families. 
 
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County has two primary purposes: prevention and intervention. Prevention of child abuse begins with education. 
 
Prevention 
The Children’s Advocacy Center offers programs to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, enhance the development of very young children and encourage healthy family functioning. Low-income families with infants, toddlers and pregnant women are welcome to contact us to begin working toward building a positive family life. 
 
Active prevention programs of the Children’s Advocacy Center include:
  • The Nurse Family Partnership - an innovative nurse-led, evidence-based voluntary program where highly educated nurses visit low-income women in their homes throughout Lawrence County during their first pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their children's lives to accomplish three goals:
    • To improve pregnancy outcomes
    • To improve child health and development
    • To improve self-sufficiency
  • Parents as Teachers – a program designed to reinforce that parents are their child's first teacher. Family Development Specialists provide educational/developmental services in-home to families with children 0-5 years of age.  Home visits occur two times a month for 60 minutes. They also provide parent-child interaction groups, play groups, other parenting support groups and provide information, referral and support. 
  • Early Head Start Program - The Early Head Start program works to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, enhance the development of very young children and encourage healthy family functioning. This more intense program is designed to reinforce that parents are their child's first teacher. Family Development Specialists provide home-based Early Head Start services to families with children 0-3 years of age. Home visits occur weekly for 90 minutes.  They also provide socialization and play groups for enrolled families.
     
  • Promoting Responsible Fatherhood- a program focused on the importance of a father’s role in their child’s life. The program is designed to work with young dads between the ages of 13 and 22 and offers parenting education, facilitates family activities, and provides families with ongoing support. Promoting Responsible Fatherhood is offered at no cost and once weekly at Jameson South Campus
  • Parenting Education - Parenting classes are offered weekly to families at-risk of losing their children due to child abuse and neglect issues.  The classes are held weekly for 2 hours during a 15 week period of time.  There is a cost of $1 per week for parenting workbooks. 
  • Community Education - regarding child abuse prevention and the intervention system.
Please spread awareness of our services to those in our community who may be in need.
 
Intervention
The Children's Advocacy Center is a child-focused organization in which local professionals work together to address the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse cases in order to prevent further victimization of children. The Children's Advocacy Center exists to guide and support abused children and their non-abusing family members through the criminal justice and social service systems by coordinating multidisciplinary services and providing programs on their behalf. 
Through interagency cooperation the Center offers: 
  • A centralized child-focused facility for coordination of multidisciplinary services. 
  • Education and training for professionals involved in child abuse prevention and intervention. 
  • Community education regarding child abuse prevention and the intervention system. 
  • A library of current information on child abuse issues is available to the community and to service partners. 
The Multidisciplinary Team
A team of community professionals coordinated by the CAC provides Lawrence County with a compassionate and effective response to child abuse victims and their non-offending family members.  Included in this response are the services of a forensic interviewer for developmentally appropriate and legally sound interviews of children. 
 
Forensic Interviewer
The Children's Advocacy Center offers forensic interviewing services by a trained forensic interviewer for children who are alleged victims of abuse or who have witnessed violent crimes.  The interviews are provided in cooperation with Children and Youth Services, Law Enforcement and the District Attorney's Office. These services are available at the Jameson South Campus by appointment and are free and confidential.  
 
Medical Evaluation
The Children's Advocacy Center offers medical evaluations to children who are alleged victims of abuse.  Specially trained Nurse Practitioners referred to as SAFE (sexual assault forensic examiner) Nurses provide the medical evaluation in cooperation with Law Enforcement, CYS and the District Attorney's Office.
 
These services are provided on an emergency basis at Jameson Hospital's emergency room and on a non emergent basis by appointment.  Medical services are paid for by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency's Victim Compensation Fund and are confidential.
 
Counseling, Support and Advocacy
The Children's Advocacy Center Partners with the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County to provide counseling, support and advocacy services to the victims of child abuse and their non-offending family members.  These services are provided at the time of the forensic interview and the medical evaluation and will continue throughout the investigation and prosecution of the case.  These services are free and confidential.  
 
Time-Limited Family Reunification
Intense intervention services for families that have children placed outside of their homes.  
 
Mission Statement
The mission of the Children's Advocacy Center is to prevent the maltreatment of children by coordinating the efforts of diverse professionals who provide services related to the prevention, education investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse. 
 
History
The Children's Advocacy Center of Lawrence County, Inc. (CAC) is a private, non-profit agency founded in 1989 by a group of local citizens concerned about the welfare of abused children and their non-offending family members.  The CAC has evolved over the past twenty years into a child-focused agency intent on coordinating multidisciplinary services for abused children through consistent interagency collaboration and by providing prevention programs for families and children in Lawrence County.  The CAC joined the Jameson Health System in 1996.
 
Contact Information
Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County
Jameson Hospital South Campus
1000 South Mercer Street, 4th Floor
New Castle, PA 16101
 
Phone (724) 658-4688
Fax (724) 658-8810
 
Relevant Links
An Ounce of Prevention Video:
http://www.youtube.com/user/theounceofprevention#p/u/33/GbSp88PBe9E