The Congregation Council is pleased to announce that the April House Children’s Advocacy Center located in Morrison has been named the charitable organization to receive all Lenten Self-Denial offerings. To understand what a Children’s Advocacy Center is, you must first understand what children face without one. Without an advocacy center, the child may end up having to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again to doctors, police, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they may be in trouble or may be asked the wrong question by a well-meaning adult that could hurt the case against the abuser. When police or child protective services believe a child is being abused, the child is brought to the advocacy center—a safe, child-focused environment. At the child advocacy center, the child tells their story once to a trained interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not traumatize the child. Then, a team that includes medical professionals, law enforcement, mental health, prosecution, child protective services, victim advocacy, and other professionals makes decisions together about how to help the child. This is called the multidisciplinary team response and is a core part of the work of the children’s advocacy center. The advocacy center offers referrals to therapy, medical exam, courtroom preparation, victim advocacy, and other services deemed helpful to the child and family.
Please prayerfully consider the April House Children’s Advocacy Center as you make decisions concerning your self-denial offering during this Lenten season. As siblings in the Christian faith, we are called to care for the youngest members who have had to face unthinkable circumstances.