"August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born.
The odd uneven time." Sylvia Plath
Hello Friends,

In the blink of an eye, summer is coming to an end. While we still have warm days and hopefully great weather to be outdoors, school is starting and we are all looking towards what's next. Unfortunately, this is not the fall that we had hoped for with the resurgence of COVID-19. With hopes of returning to more in person and less restrictive get togethers, it seems that may be on hold for now.

In the meantime, we'll keep doing what we do. CACI will continue to provide support to our CACs and MDTs and CACs will continue to serve kids and their families.

For example, in FY 2021, CACI provided training to 2,219 participants, with most of these being virtual. This is a 38% increase over FY 2020 and a 75% increase since FY 2017. Our training department is expanding in staff and capacity in order to best meet the needs of our people by being flexible and creative.

In the first half of 2021, Illinois CACs saw the largest number of children in a 6 month period than ever before, 7548 children received services from an Illinois CAC. This is due to the diligence of the CAC staff and MDT members who continue to make adjustments that keep our clients and team members safe and healthy while still providing the highest quality services.

The work of CACI and the CACs would not be possible without the support of our funders. The coordination of state, regional and federal funds make our work possible, especially during these difficult times. We thank our funders; Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois Attorney General's Office, Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Centers (MRCAC), Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), and the National Children's Alliance (NCA). The flexibility and support from these agencies have allowed us to continue services by updating technology, providing virtual services when necessary, maintaining safe and healthy facilities, and expert consultation in a variety of subjects.

As always, it really takes a village. Thank you for your support of the work we do to keep kids safe and helping them to be heard and healed!

Stay safe and take care,

Many thanks and congratulations go out to Pam Riddle, the retiring Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Center of East Illinois. Pam has served in that role for 17 years and has left a legacy of perseverance, caring and overall commitment to the children and families in Central Illinois. As well, she has served as a mentor to many and leader in the CAC movement throughout Illinois.

Personally, Pam has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since becoming the Executive Director of CACI. A quick email or text of encouragement always seemed to come at just the right time from Pam. I have relied on her for her steady advice and a listening ear over these years and always appreciate her appreciation for nature, art, and her fellow human beings. You are a special one Pam, thank you for being you.

Enjoy your well deserved retirement!

Individuals ages 12+ are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Make a plan to get vaccinated for a successful and safe school year. Visit vaccines.gov to learn more.

The below video training was created by NRCAC in collaboration with Western Regional Children's Advocacy Center as an orientation tool for both current and incoming MDT members. This training highlights the importance of victim advocates, what victim advocates do for children and families, and the role of the victim advocate on the MDT. 
Child Sex Trafficking

The Child Sex Trafficking Team at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children provides assistance to law enforcement in their efforts to identify and recover child victims of sex trafficking through a partnership with the FBI's Innocence ...

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Parenting A Neurodivergent Child is Hard!

Parenting a neurodivergent child can be exhausting. The stress, the worry, the ongoing lists of extra things to monitor and manage can seem endless. Often it feels like there's no spare moment to do anything other than be on constant guard for...

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Through legislation recently signed into law, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must begin collecting and reporting data on incidents of violence in school settings or during school-sanctioned activities.

Under Senate Bill 633, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, all incidents at public schools that result in a student or students receiving an out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or transfer to an alternative school setting must be reported annually on each school district’s official school report card.

According to a School Survey on Crime and Safety administered by the U.S. Department of Education, an estimated 962,300 incidents of violence occurred in U.S. public schools across the country in 2017-2018. Seventy-one percent of schools reported having at least one violent incident during the 2017-2018 school year.
A Health Equity Approach to Preventing Sexual Violence

Sexual harassment, abuse, and assault can have short- and long-term physical, emotional, and psychological effects on a person's well-being and impact an entire community, from the culture and connections between people to the economic toll....

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Child Abuse Affects Brain Development; Study Reveals...

A new study found that repeated child abuse, or complex trauma, is related to psychopathology and cognitive impairment.

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If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.” Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed another direction. “Or you can go that way and you can do something — something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?

This quote, by John Boyd, hit me pretty hard this week and I wanted to share.


If you're on Collaborate, please remember to have all data input by the 15th of each month. That is all we will need from you.

If you're not on Collaborate, please email your DCFS Data forms to Hanane and myself.

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Fund (CESF) Grant has been extended until January 31st, 2022. We did not get an increase in funds, but have until the end of January to use them.

ICJIA has updated their Transportation Policy. We have uploaded the updated policy to the Director's Corner, you can also find it under Resources in Coalition Manager. One notable change is that they are allowing the purchase of gas cards, with some restrictions. Please take a look at the update policy and let us know you have any questions.

VOCA Fiscal News

Upcoming due dates are listed below.

  • CESF August Expense PFR due Tuesday, September 7, 2021

  • VOCA August Expense PFR due Friday, September 10, 2021

  • VOCA Combined September Expense and Closeout Expense PFR and Inventory Report due Tuesday, October 12, 2021 – Closeout Informational Letters will be sent out on or before September 10th.

We are excited to welcome Hanane Bousfoul to the CACI team in her new role as Data & Communication Specialist!  
I'm a recent graduate with a double major in Business finance and biology, very different majors but even biologist need spreadsheets . I'm trilingual, I speak French and Arabic and yes you can dream in different languages. Music makes my day and I'm always looking for new playlists. I love hiking and being outdoors but I'm frightened of spiders which limits my outdoor activities ( Pretty Sad 😊 ) . I'm constantly learning new softwares and looking forward to being part of such a great team at CACI.

Save the Date: Annual Advocate Training
November 16-17, Springfield

This year's annual advocate training features topics on advocate wellness, crisis communication, verbal de-escalation, thriving on the MDT, advocacy ethics and more! Registration information to be released later this month.

In addition to these topics presented by national speakers, CACI is looking for local Illinois advocate leaders to present about their expertise and experiences in the advocacy field. The options for presentation ideas are endless! We want advocates to show off the good work, new practices, collaborations, and teamwork that they have experienced to inspire and teach other advocates. Does this sound like something you have done?  We want to hear from you no later than September 9th! Click the photo below to submit your interest.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like more information about this opportunity!
Core Concepts of Team Facilitation Community Consult

The Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center (MRCAC) provides a self-paced course called "Core Concepts of Team Facilitation" through the MRCAC learning portal that can be found here.

Please register online with MRCAC and take the self paced Core Concepts of Team Facilitation course. Each lesson is about 20 minutes long.

CACI is hosting Community Consult sessions to discuss each lesson. The next Community Consult is August 26th at 11:00 AM for lesson 2, Creating a Safe Place for your Team, and can be accessed through Coalition Manager by clicking HERE .

Remember to take the self-paced course before the respective consult sessions!

Upcoming Community Consult sessions are:

8/26/21 @ 11am
9/30/21 @ 11am
10/28/21 @ 11am
11/18/21 @ 11am
What type of ZOOM'er are you?
The one walking circles around the house
The one without the camera on
The one making funny faces
The one who always talks

Some celebrations have been taking place at our Center! We have recently celebrated 20 year work anniversaries for both our Intake Coordinator, Misty Lattuada, and our Child Advocate, Pamela Dale-Bible!!
On Friday, November 12th, the Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center and the Franklin Williamson Child Advocacy Center, will be hosting their 6th Annual Harvest Moon Ball at Legends at Walker's Bluff.

Both Child Advocacy Centers are not-for-profit agencies that serve children ages 0-18 who have been victims of child sexual abuse and/or serious physical abuse. Their mission is to provide a child friendly setting to conduct forensic interviews of child victims and provide the family with support services throughout the abuse investigation. They both work in a multidisciplinary team environment to produce the best outcome for the child victim and their family.

Your sponsorship helps to ensure that their missions will be supported for years to come.

To become a sponsor, please contact either the Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center at (618) 357-2990 or the Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center at (618) 942-3800.
ChicagoCAC Celebrates 20 Years of Battling Abuse and...

August 5, 2021 will mark the 20th anniversary of the day Chicago Children's Advocacy Center opened its doors, becoming the first organization of its kind in the city. ChicagoCAC is the city's only nonprofit that ... ChicagoCAC Celebrates 20 Years ...

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