Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center Hosts Open House

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The Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is hosting an Open House on Friday, February 8, 2019 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. The CAC provides a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary response in a child-focused setting to allegations of child sexual and severe physical abuse. In partnership with University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton, the CAC provides forensic interviews and non-invasive medical examinations in a secure location for cases in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.

Lauren Krasko, Coordinator of the Talbot County CAC, states, “This is an opportunity for the public to learn more about what we do and the important role we play in the community around the issue of child sexual abuse.”

Talbot County Department of Social Services partnered with the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton to develop the Regional Medical Program for child sexual abuse victims. Medical services necessary for child sexual abuse victims were not available in the Mid-Shore region in 2002 (Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne, and Talbot counties).  Families and children often had to travel to Baltimore or Washington, DC. Today, the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton provides the physical space for the Children’s Advocacy Center, infrastructure support to the Mid-Shore Medical Program, including security, partnership through the Nurse Manager of the birthing center, services of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Coordinator and support from Pediatrics.

Pictured is a mural in the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center that was painted by local artist Maggie Sarfaty.

In addition to the Talbot County Department of Social Services and the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton, pediatricians and nurses, a number of other agencies are represented on the multi-disciplinary team, which assists the Center to create a child-focused approach to child abuse cases on the Mid Shore. The multi-disciplinary team is comprised of professionals from disciplines including law enforcement, social services, prosecution, mental health, medical, and victim advocacy.  These disciplines work together to investigate child abuse allegations, provide treatment to the victim and their family, manage the case, and prosecute offenders of child abuse.  In 2018 the CAC and its partners provided services to 76 victims of child sexual abuse in Talbot County.

Talbot Community Connections (TCC), a 14-member volunteer nonprofit board, was formed to raise funds to enhance the Talbot County Department of Social Services’ capacity to respond directly to problems of safety and well-being of county citizens. The funds raised by TCC help abused children through the CAC.

On February 28, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Talbot County Free Library, the Talbot County Department of Social Services will host an information session on its Empower Me Program, which offers residents of Talbot County the chance to learn more about how to prevent child abuse.

For further information about the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center or these two events, contact Lauren Krasko at 410-820-7141 or visit talbotcac.org.

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