Blue Bell's Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center has $35,000 more in its coffers thanks to one of its founders, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, being named the 2012 national honoree in the L'Oreal Paris seventh annual Women of Worth awards.
Hopefully, a child you know hasn't needed the services of this nonprofit organization that works with youngsters who may be victims of child abuse. But children who are tumbling through that sad and stressful situation are much better served by having one location where investigators gather under a single, child-friendlier roof to talk to children, figure out what has happened, and provide needed services. In case you've never heard of Mission Kids, here's the verbatim explanation on the group's website of what it does:
Mission Kids offers a comprehensive, centrally located, multidisciplinary team response to allegations of child abuse in a dedicated, child-friendly setting to achieve justice for child victims and promote their physical and emotional well-being. Mission Kids provides neutral, fact-finding forensic interviews which are coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing and supports Montgomery County’s multidisciplinary team approach to child abuse investigation and intervention.
The criminal justice system can be an intimidating and unfriendly place, even as an adult. But imagine what it is like for a child immersed in that frightening world because he or she has been the victim of abuse. Without Mission Kids, the criminal justice process for these child victims may include multiple, lengthy interviews with varied individuals- police, counselors, law enforcement, attorneys- that would force a child to recount and sometimes relive traumatic incidents from their young lives. Unfortunately, too many children are victims; in 2009 there were almost 750 reports of suspected child abuse investigated in Montgomery County, including allegations of serious physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, and serious physical neglect.