Illinois Department of Public Health Coronavirus-2019  website .   
COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-889-3931.
Letter from the Executive Director
As we settle into our new normal, Children's Advocacy Centers in Illinois continue to do what they do best, serve the kids and families who are dealing with trauma. CAC staff and our MDT partners (law enforcement and DCFS) are first responders and are considered essential workers for kids and families in times of crisis.

Across our state, CAC directors are meeting weekly by web to network and share ideas of how to safely accommodate child abuse victims. Many Forensic Interviews are taking place using technology for both connecting with children and MDT partners. Advocacy outreach is taking place by phone. Mental Health treatment is continuing with HIPPA compliant web meetings. Our work continues.  

Although the work continues, numbers are down. The Illinois hotline (1-800-25-ABUSE) has seen a 50% decrease in calls and CACs are seeing a significant drop of referrals. Now more than ever, our diligence as adults to report child abuse is more important than ever. If you as an adult see something that causes concern for the safety of a child, say something. The life and well being of a child may depend on it.  

To the CAC staff and MDT partners, THANK YOU! Thank you for always putting the safety and well being of kids first. Please take care of yourselves as well.  

Best Wishes All, 

‘Staying Alive’ Self Care for those Exercising Leadership
By Ronald Heifetz

This article addresses the issue of how to sustain oneself not only with stresses of leadership but in the stresses of any high‐powered job, called “staying alive”.
Back in "normal" times, CACI Executive Director, Kim Mangiaracino, was diligent in keeping our small team connected by constantly strengthening and building on our relationships with one another and the amazing CAC staff from around Illinois.

She has stepped up her game during this time of uncertainty by maintaining ways (like the one below) to keep our spirits strong!

While enjoying this time together it helps us maintain the sense that we are not in this alone.
This week she has presented us with a new stay at home challenge!

We are sharing the challenge with you here and hope that you will give it a try with your team. Of course you can edit, add prizes, etc., and make this your own! If you participate, we would love for you to tag us on social media so we can see how you did!

Make sure to follow our social media ( Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to find out how we did and who had the most points.
Hi Everyone,

The Excelling as a Supervisor training, to be previously held May 12-13 , will now be online June 1, 2, 3 and there will be no registration or cost associated with this training. 

You will see below the dates, times and information for the May 2020 Forensic Interviewing Web Series.

Advocates gathered digitally this month for the CACI Annual Advocate Round Table meetings. The benefit to hosting these meetings digitally this year, all the advocates throughout the state were able to join together to collaborate, network, and share ideas at each of these meetings.

The first Advocate Round table was a space to discuss how advocates are best assisting families with their identified needs in this new normal that CACs and families are adjusting to. Many advocates reported that they are having opportunities to build rapport with families on the phone prior to meeting them at the CAC. These conversations are acquiring better information to best assist families, and at the same time are reducing the amount of in-person contact. Additionally, advocates have found that families are reaching out more, and vocalizing more of their needs. The consensus was that families know that their advocates are there for them, and are dependable resources that they can turn to.

At the second Advocate Round Table Meeting, advocates shared training resources with each other to best learn about the best practices at CACs and to further their education.

The last Advocate Round table featured Kimberly Murray from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office . She spoke about resources to compensate victims for financial losses they may have received as a result of a crime against them. Kimberly was a wealth of knowledge about the Crime Victim’s Compensation Program , and we appreciated her expert assistance. The feedback from these meetings was overwhelmingly positive, and CACI has decided to continue these into May.

The next Advocate Round Table meeting is May 7 th  at 1:00 P.M.  

Presenting Evidence Discussion
Homeland Security’s Lead Forensic Interviewer Specialist, Ale Levi will review the Prepare and Predict Presenting Evidence Method and will facilitate conversation with participants surrounding this topic. Participants should come prepared with questions and challenges they have encountered while presenting evidence in the forensic interview.
Interviewing Beyond Sexual Abuse

By reviewing key aspects of the forensic interview including development, language, and memory development, the impact of trauma, and the practical applications of approaches to enhancing rapport with youth, this training will strengthen skills of interviewers at the beginner and intermediate levels
Research Discussion

The article titled “How Children Talk About Events: Implications for Eliciting and Analyzing Eyewitness Reports” ( found here ) written by Sonja P. Brubacher will be reviewed and discussed by National Children’s Advocacy Center Forensic Interviewer, Kim Madden. Kim has 24 years of interviewing experience and this article is what she refers to as her “Swiss Army Knife” of forensic interviewing. This research article sites many sources of research and will give Forensic Interviewers the proper tools to have when interviewing children. Forensic Interviewers should read this article prior to attending this discussion, and have prepared questions about real life application for our expert.
Ask the Expert: Attorney General's Office presents Victim Bill of Rights

Thu, May 7, 2020 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (CDT)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States:  +1 (646) 749-3122
Access Code: 938-561-165
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
Questions? Email
There is no registration link or cost for any of these trainings!
We look forward to connecting with you all soon.
#Essential4Kids: Resources to Protect Kids From Abuse During COVID-Crisis
In times of crisis and economic insecurity, rates of child abuse and neglect increase. However, the Illinois hotline (1-800-25-ABUSE) has seen a 50% decrease in calls and CACs are seeing a significant drop of referral dramatically during the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. When children stay at home, they are isolated from places where adults often look out for their safety and well-being including schools, child care facilities, places of worship and other public areas.  

We need all adults to step up:  family members, neighbors, essential workers serving families in grocery stores and pharmacies and delivering goods to homes and school professionals who are still working with children virtually.  ALL ADULTS  need to be aware of their responsibility to protect children.

You are essential to child safety during this time.  Below you will find information on how to recognize that a child is unsafe and respond. These resources are designed for essential workers serving on the ground to keep our communities running during the COVID-19 crisis, school professionals during this time of virtual learning, and the general public.

Raise awareness . Awareness and advocacy are critical to child abuse prevention and intervention. Share this page, the resources and videos on social media or make your own! Use the hashtag #Essential4Kids  so we can keep track of your advocacy.

Join us. YOU are #Essential4Kids!
These fantastic materials were adapted from Missouri KidsFirst
Collaborate has been in use by many for a full quarter. Considering the speed of the ramp up we are doing an awesome job! Reports are up and running and providing solid data. 

To those who are on Collaborate, and those preparing to come on board, please know how important your feedback has been in this process. We are looking forward to further tweaks and updates in the coming weeks, which will enhance the system even more.  
Elicit and Identify Protective Factors in Domestic...

Brief Overview: This session's goal is to bridge work of the Duluth Model Coordinated Community Response (CCR) in conjunction with the Child Advocacy Center model. Domestic violence and child abuse maltreatment co-occurrence is exceptionally high ...

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Child Sexual Abuse Reports Are On The Rise Amid Lockdown ...

There has been a rise in the number of minors contacting the National Sexual Assault Hotline to report abuse. That's according to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which runs the hotline.

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Please send Michael your quarterly progress and data reports by May 4th. We had some flexibility on the last due date of April 10th, but we still need to get the reports in. If you sent one of the reports and not the other please send the missing one by May 4th as well. 

The VOCA NOFO will be released soon.

Last week Darkness to Light hosted "Protecting Children During a Crisis Webinar". They recorded it and have graciously shared.

Protecting children takes all of us, and we were inspired hearing from our partners about ways to protect children in this unique time. Some key takeaways were:

  • We must ensure kids’ basic and physiological needs are met, i.e. food, health care, & housing, before we focus on remote learning, etc.  
  • When speaking with kids, even if you don’t know the right thing to say, it’s important to be authentic. 
  • Reporting hotlines and child advocacy centers are still operating.  
  • We have to get creative when thinking through child protection. I.e., Since a teacher is not seeing students in-person, they may need to think through ways to still be a safe adult. Is there a code word a child can say if they are in danger?

Each participating organization also provided resources to help parents, caregivers, and youth serving professionals. A few discussed in the webinar included the  Age of COVID-19 Project ,   the Mood Meter App Common Sense Media Resources , and  family resources  such as the electronic device agreement.
Virtual MDT Coordinator Roundtables:

  • May 6th
  • May 13th
  • May 20th

All will be held from 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Also, if Directors have any updated policies, procedures or protocols, please keep sending them to me via email at .
NCA Learning: COVID-19 Resources For CACs

The novel coronavirus outbreak, causing the potentially life-threatening respiratory illness COVID-19, impacts the communities, families, and children served by the nation's Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) in a variety of ways beyond the...

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The Coronavirus Pandemic Puts Children at Risk of Online ...

In an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, schools around the country have closed. We've experienced expected consequences: students falling behind academically, and parents who can't get work done because of screaming kids. But there's...

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