Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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April 13, 2009

Child Advocacy Center Plans Events for Child Abuse Prevention Month

(First in a Series -- )

APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH - County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann presents a proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month to Olivia VanSanford, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center. Looking on are Gail Godici, left, member of the CAC Board of Directors, and Jennifer Bray, Victim Advocate at the CAC.

FULTON - The Oswego County Child Advocacy Center, established eight years ago through a coalition of county government and human services agencies, is planning several events in April for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The center is run by a non-profit charitable organization that works to protect and serve child victims of sexual and physical abuse. Partners include the County Department of Social Services, Sheriff's Department, District Attorney's Office, Probation Department, Fulton and Oswego City Police Departments, New York State Police, Oswego County Opportunities, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, and the HOPE Program.

“The effects of child abuse are felt by the whole community, and need to be addressed by the entire community,” said County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann on proclaiming April Child Abuse Prevention Month. “The Child Advocacy Center is an important piece of the child protective system in place in Oswego County. The fact that the center provided services to 237 children in Oswego County last year shows there is a vital need for effective child abuse prevention programs. We have an ethical obligation to call the child abuse hotline whenever we suspect child abuse or neglect. I urge all citizens to support the efforts of the Oswego County Child Advocacy Center and its partners in the prevention of child abuse.”

A multidisciplinary team, comprised of prosecution, law enforcement, child protective services, medical providers, therapeutic professionals, and victim support advocates, provides a variety of services to victims and their families.

The Center is selling “Help Children Heal” raffle tickets to support the services the CAC provides. The grand prize is $2,000 cash. All proceeds will remain within the community. Tickets are $5 each and are available at Sweet Inspirations, Fulton; Medicine Place, Fulton; Cheap Seats, Oswego; and the FitzGibbons Agency, Oswego. The drawing takes place April 27.

On Wednesday evening, April 22, guests at the Fulton Pizza Hut will be greeted by local celebrities including County Sheriff Reuel Todd, Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward and other members of the Oswego County Child Abuse Team. The CAC staff will serve guests.

The annual candlelight vigil takes place Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the gazebo at Bullhead Point in Fulton. Oswego County Family Court Judge Kim Seager will speak at the event to honor child abuse victims and increase community awareness.

“Representatives of the multi-disciplinary team meet regularly to review investigations involving child sexual abuse, physical abuse and child fatalities,” said Olivia Van Sanford, CAC director. “Services are free to all child victims and their families in Oswego County. Forensic interviews, on-site medical exams, specialized mental health assessment and treatment, and counseling for non-offending family members can be arranged through the center.”

Additional information is available on the CAC Web site at www.oswegocac.org, by calling 592-4453, or by . To report a suspected case of child abuse or neglect, call the NYS child abuse hotline at 1-800-342-3720. In an emergency, call 911.

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