North County Child Abuse Center Needs our Help to Stay Open
Every day, for the past 30 years, the staff of Palomar Health’s Child Abuse Program (CAP) and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) has devoted their lives to caring for those most vulnerable in our community: children and victims who have been abused. But today they are faced with a different battle, how to keep the doors open.
As a councilmember, I was recently given a tour of this unassuming facility. But, it was the mother in me that was deeply touched by the reality that many children face each year, the trauma of abuse. The Child Abuse Program is the first and only stop for victims of abuse in North County. The center has a team of highly trained staff, who are able to listen to a child’s story and document the evidence needed to take offenders off the streets. The center is safe and quiet, far from the madness of a hospital’s emergency room or a law enforcement interview room. Without this program hundreds of children will have to be taken far from their homes and subjected to multiple exams and interviews, each time having to repeat the story of their personal trauma.
For the first time since being founded, the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Response Team programs are vulnerable and in jeopardy of being closed. Community help is desperately needed! Faced with new federal regulations in healthcare reimbursements, sequestration cuts and smaller grants made from foundations, the Child Abuse Program is bracing for losses that must be made up with private support. Your help today can minimize these children’s trauma and help convict the abusers– preventing future children from suffering abuse.
Below is more information on how you can help. I urge you to take the time to learn about the program and share this information.
Kimberly Rideout Cardoso
Palomar Health Foundation