Mount Nittany Health Foundation was recently awarded a $5,000 grant on behalf of the health system’s Children's Advocacy Center of Centre County. The grant was presented by Centre Foundation from its COVID-19 Action Fund.
“The Centre Foundation is committed to supporting organizations like the Children's Advocacy Center of Centre County that are dedicated to advancing the welfare of children. This is even more important during the coronavirus pandemic. We are proud to award the CAC this grant for their tireless efforts to serve and protect our community's youth," states Molly Kunkel, executive director, Centre Foundation.
Nationwide and across the world, reports of suspected child abuse and neglect have significantly decreased during the pandemic, likely due to the fact that child advocates – such as teachers and social workers – have limited in-person interaction with children and families during this time. This makes the work of the Children’s Advocacy Center even more vital.
"We are so grateful for this grant and the recognition it signifies of the vital work we do to provide compassionate and skilled care to children suspected of being victims of child abuse," shares Meredith Thompson, MS, executive director, Children's Advocacy Center of Centre County. “We are equally grateful that the Center has been able to remain resilient, adapting services to incorporate safety protocols for limiting the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to work with local investigative teams to serve the community throughout the pandemic.”
The grant will help defray the costs of providing forensic interview services. The forensic interview is a neutral, non-leading, fact-finding, and child-centered conversation to obtain information about a possible event(s) the child may have experienced. Our mission is to give children a safe space to begin healing and minimize any potential for re-traumatization.
The interview is conducted by a specially-trained forensic interviewer who strives to make the child feel as comfortable as possible while gathering information to determine what may have occurred. The CAC is specially equipped to record the interview in audio and visual formats, ensuring that the child will not have to be interviewed multiple times by multiple investigation teams.
A unique and essential component of the Children’s Advocacy Center team are specially trained Mount Nittany Physician Group pediatricians. These pediatricians conduct a child-friendly, non-invasive and comprehensive medical exam. They are another key piece of the Center’s multidisciplinary approach and set the center apart from others, many of whom do not have their own medical staff.
"We are grateful to Centre Foundation for supporting the Center during these unprecedented days. Now more than ever, it takes the entire community to protect our youngest and most vulnerable residents," states Simon Corby, executive director, Mount Nittany Health Foundation.
Mount Nittany Health Foundation donors make a difference. Our donors' generosity enables the growth of expertise, advances in lifesaving technology, program improvements, and facility upgrades that meet the unique needs of the communities we serve. Gifts directly support Mount Nittany Health's mission to make people healthier. To learn more about the Mount Nittany Health Foundation, visit foundation.mountnittany.org or call 814.234.6777.