A Message from the Executive Director
Dear Friends, 

We continue to move through our days and our work despite the many challenges that our world is facing right now. Children are returning to school and whether that be remotely or in person, both involve change and modifications for kids, parents, and teachers. Adults are returning to work, social activities, and visiting with family and friends, all involve change and modifications. With protest and political battles we see that our nation is hurting, so many of us are hurting for ourselves and for others.  

In an August 2020 CDC report, 40% of Americans reported struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues, this number includes a substantial amount of youth and parents. Parents under stress put our kids at higher risk for abuse and kids not attending school put our kids at higher risk for abuse. We must also remember that our kids are taking in all this stress, anxiety, fear, anger and frustration, often without knowing what to do with those feelings. It is so important to not just talk to your kids about what is going on in the world, but listen to how they are feeling. Please reach out for help if you or someone you love needs it.  NAMI is a great resource.  

The reach of CACs and their resources are more important than ever. The coordination of the MDT in cases of child abuse continues despite challenges. Forensic Interviews continue with modifications to best keep children safe and heard. Advocacy continues, with parents needing more and different support than ever before. Mental Health treatment continues with CACs modifying their services to connect with the children who need it most. Many CACs are now working with their local school districts to support teachers and administrators in recognizing and reporting abuse in a remote learning situation.  

All this work continues as the CAC staff and MDT walk through their own lives. Please keep these important Essential Workers in your thoughts and reach out to them with appreciation and words of encouragement.  

Many thanks to all those on the front lines and wishes for peace in all of our lives.  

Take care,
We Grieve Her Loss & Will Forever Share Her Legacy
The Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois along with all Illinois CACs grieve the loss of Deb Bree, Executive Director of Kane County Children's Advocacy Center.  Deb was a shining light and a fierce advocate for children in Illinois. Deb always freely shared her beautiful smile, kind heart and comprehensive knowledge with all who encountered her. We have lost a dear friend and warrior and we were so lucky to have known her. Please keep her family, friends, CAC staff, and MDT in your thoughts.

Please click here for an article from the Chicago Tribune remembering Deb as a fierce defender of every child survivor.
August 13, 2020 - CACI Executive Director, Kim Mangiaracino, Natalie Phelps Finney, and Sangamon County CAC Director, Denise Johnson , met with Illinois State Senator Andy Manar - 48th Senate District.

We appreciated Senator Manar's time to discuss how we can better address child abuse in Illinois and his fight to make sure the 40 Children's Advocacy Centers in Illinois receive funding in the state budget.

Our sincerest gratitude, Senator Manar, for your dedication to the children of Illinois.
Protecting children is a responsibility we all share. It is important for every person to take child abuse and neglect seriously, be able to recognize it and know what to do next.

If you have reason to believe a child you know is being abused or neglected, call the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873).
Hey everyone,

August was such a great month of unique training opportunities. CACI in partnership with Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Centers has the ability to provide a 5 month training and network series to assist Illinois leaders in making decisions adapting and changing during the current pandemic. August kicked off this training series with the following sessions: 

  • Mutli-Level Shared Leadership presented by National Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director Chris Newlin,
  • Infection Prevention presented by Infection Preventionist Joseph Kurland
  • Productivity and Positivity presented by Employee Strategy specialist Andy Zimney
  • Benefits of Telehealth presented by Dakota Children's Advocacy Center Director Paula Condol and Nicola Herting Clinical Director at the Sanford Traumatic Stress Treatment Center.

We look forward to having these experts present again in September!

Our newest members of our Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Program met with CACI consultant Dr. Melissa Runyon in August. Dr. Runyon will be providing these 13 therapists with a week long online TF-CBT course in September. This meeting prepared these mental health clinicians with the expectations of this intensive program which will include bi-monthly consultation calls.

Good luck to our newest cohort of clinicians. We appreciate your dedication to bringing evidenced-based therapy to kids who are seen at our CACs throughout IL. 
ChildFirst is an intensive five-day course in which students learn the necessary skills to conduct a forensic interview of an alleged child abuse victim. ChildFirst is designed for investigative teams of law enforcement officers, social workers, prosecutors, and forensic interviewers.


1 day protocol training for previously trained forensic interviewers. 

Registration closes on Sept. 7, 2020 
This advanced training will give participants the skills and techniques to conduct developmentally appropriate forensic interviews with victims of child sex trafficking. 

Participants MUST have at least 2 years of experience with 50 forensic interviews per year or must have interviewed 250 children in the context of an MDT regardless of the number of years experience. 

This is an application based training.
Any CAC leader can attend to gain knowledge of the accreditation process.
Training will be provided by experienced site reviewers who are or were Chapter Leaders. 

Contact your CAC director if you are interested in attending this training.  
The Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois in partnership with Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center (MRCAC) is excited to provide the following trainings in September.

Please save the dates and contact your local CAC director for more information. 
On August 17th, CACI held the first virtual Building Resiliency Training with the April House MDT. 

Please contact me if you haven't had this training and would like to learn more about or schedule this training for your team. 

On October 1st, CACI will be hosting the 4th virtual training session with Victor Veith from Zero Abuse Project. The training is from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm and is titled "The Day of Reckoning: The Art & Science of Cross-Examining Defendants and Defense Witnesses."

MCLEs will be available for those attorneys that are interested. As a reminder, although the training is directed toward attorneys, any MDT member may attend.

If you have any question, please email Mike - mike@cacionline.org

Thank you everyone for getting me your signed VOCA Contract so quickly. I would also like to remind everyone that ALL staff, not just VOCA funded staff, have to complete the Civil Rights Training by October. If you have any questions or need the training document and link please let me know.

Contact Michael - michael@cacionline.org
The VOCA Grant for FY20 was $7,100,000. Altogether the CACs were able to spend out $6,989,440.49. Kudos to the CACs for all the modifications submitted during the final months of the fiscal year reallocating unspent funds to meet unforeseen needs due to the COVID-19 virus. The total unspent funds were limited to $110,559.51. Great job everyone!

We have received updated guidelines from ICJIA on acceptable signatures for the VOCA reports. You are now able to use Adobe Signature or DocuSign to sign reports. You can download the report directly from the PFR Workbook to create an Adobe PDF for signature. You can also continue to print and handwrite signatures on the reports and scan for emailing. Signature stamps or typewritten names continue to be unallowable as valid signatures.

Our new grant management software, Amplifund went live during August. Starting with the August report due on September 10th, all fiscal data will be entered into the software. The signed report in PDF format, PFR Workbook in Excel format, and any supporting documentation if applicable, will be uploaded into the software under the “Tools” section. If you were not able to attend the training webinar on August 10th, I encourage you to watch the recording. You were also sent a link to a training video and User Guide as resources. Please contact me with any questions.

Contact Kathy - kathy@cacionline.org
The secret to helping kids who have experienced trauma to best learn is to make sure they feel safe and supported by the adults that surround them.

This video reframes a trauma perspective in terms of learning brain versus survival brain as a way to make it easier for teachers to talk about trauma with students.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center's Library supports the work of advocates, researchers, prevention staff, and the public.
Reflect. Refuel.Reset | Southern Regional Children's...

The Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center (SRCAC) presents Reflect. Refuel. Reset. Experts in the field of secondary traumatic stress (STS) discuss what strategies can be utilized to mitigate these impacts.

Read more
The Sangamon County Children's Advocacy Center is hiring an Advocate.

For more information click here
On August 5th, the Fulton-Mason Crisis Service completed the National Children's Alliance (NCA) accreditation site review and were recommended for approval to the NCA Board of Directors.
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