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CACI has started a Lunch and Learn series for the chapter staff to become more aware of the services of other social service agencies in Illinois and how we may partner best with in the future. Our first session was presented by Jill Duden from Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. Jill is the Central Region Prevention Specialist and she talked with us about the free services, training and resources that PC can offer.

Check them out here. Thanks Jill!

Kim Mangiaracino

Executive Director

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois

Saying goodbye to a great employee is hard, but so excited to see what’s next for our friend Kenny Matthews!

At 13, She Was Abducted and Tortured by an Online Predator. Now, She's Determined to Keep Other Kids Safe

Even now, 20 years later, the triggers can pop up anytime or anywhere for Alicia "Kozak" Kozakiewicz. Sometimes, a road sign can send her into a panic attack. Sometimes, the sight of a stranger wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers cap triggers horrific memories.

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The Role of Teachers and Schools in Reporting Child Maltreatment

Cassandra Benson is an Assistant Professor at the United States Air Force Academy. Samuel Bondurant is the Administrator at the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Statistical Research Data Center. Maria Fitzpatrick is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Congratulations to CACI Board Member, Verleaner R. Lane on being recognized and celebrated by The Chicago Defender for her phenomenal work within the city of Chicago and beyond.

"I'm honored to be named one of The Chicago Defenders' Women of Excellence 2022. As an African American woman, I have inspired to make an impact in the community for over 32 years working with children and families. My leadership over the past 2 years working as the Project Director for CCH Project Child gave me a better understanding of how to address infant deaths due to unsafe sleep conditions. I’m humble to stand with the other honorees and those who came before me. To the angel that nominated me thank you for seeing me as a woman who exemplify extraordinary stature, poise, and grace in the work that I do. Thank you, Chicago Defender, for allowing me the opportunity to be placed on this phenomenon platform."

Traumatic Experiences

When a child endures a traumatic experience, the whole family feels the impact. But adults hold the power to help lessen its effects. Several factors can change the course of kids’ lives: feeling seen and heard by a caring adult, being patiently taught coping strategies and resilience-building techniques, and being with adults who know about the effects of such experiences. Here are ways to bring these factors to life.

Wednesday, September 21 - The Peoria County Children's Advocacy Center and Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois held a 1-day training on "Working As a Strong MDT". This training emphasized the importance of working as Multi-Disciplinary Team, and took a deep dive into each discipline and what they bring to the team.

💯 CACI is always available for assistance with customized trainings to fit member organizations’ needs and challenges. Customized trainings can include, but are not limited to: Dynamics of Child Sexual Abuse and the Effect on an Investigation, The Work of the MDT, Overview of the Forensic Interview Process and Overview of the CAC Model.

💯 CACI staff can work with teams to provide oversight, develop teams and protocols, strategic planning, assist with case reviews, mediate conflict and help ensure that protocols are being followed and National Accreditation Standards on a MDT level are being fulfilled.

Have you seen these throwback photos, and the great messages featured on our Facebook or Instagram this month? 

Throughout the month of September, CACI has been sharing  supportive resources and and amazing way-back-when photos on our social media platforms as everyone is getting settled back into school. 

Thank you to everyone who participated!  We have truly enjoyed taking the walk down memory lane with you.

Cara Vock

Director of Programs and Member Services

I drive, a lot. I like to be outside, and I like to learn. All these things are so much more enjoyable when accompanied by a podcast. So, you can imagine podcasts are a part of my daily routine. 

Once and awhile, I’ll listen to a podcast episode that excites me, motivates me, and makes me wonder if we are doing enough to help children, and I’ve got to share this one with you:  Inside the Adolescent Mental Health Crisis

I would love to discuss what this 30 min. episode moved inside you. Please reach out to me if you have a chance to listen, and this motivates you like it did for me. Let’s keep this conversation going!

Some quotes from this episode that really made me think were:

Suicide rates, which had been stable from 2000 to 2007 among this group (youth), leapt nearly 60 percent by 2018. So we started with a basic set of facts. Curiously, this was not the set of facts alone that told us we had something significant to investigate.

Yes. And then, in 2019, this fairly remarkable statement comes out from the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Mental health disorders have surpassed physical conditions,” as the main source of impairment and limitation among adolescents.

Well, explain that. Why is that significant — a few years earlier onset of puberty — to the mental health of young people? So we think of puberty, or we tend to generalize it as something having to do with sex or reproduction, but really, a lot of it’s happening in the brain. That’s where a lot of the action is. The brain is preparing this creature to be aware of social information — in fact, to crave social information as a way of figuring out how to fit in to a much more complex world than the one where the child was cared for. Hierarchy becomes apparent. Competition becomes apparent. 

So puberty has been happening earlier, but the rest of the brain has not developed any faster — parts of the brain that help make sense of the information that is suddenly so stimulating.It leaves us at this big idea, I think — recognizing that given the complexity of the world and the early onset of puberty, the mass of information coming at young people, we have to do a better job providing the structure that acts partly as the regulatory function of the young person’s brain.

Cognitive behavioral therapies try to validate that this actually is a real, overwhelming sensibility or feeling or emotion that the adolescent is experiencing. And then, take a variety of steps to help move the adolescent out of that place, so that they can begin to consider other options, to consider different coping mechanisms that are less self-destructive, and to ultimately understand that in fact, they were overwhelmed, that this was a temporary state, and that they can come out the other side of it a more reasoning person, someone who can make sense of this intense emotion that they’re experiencing.

This is the line that got me thinking the most:

I want to give you my chief reason for hope. Could you imagine if people started to have a teen-life crisis instead of a midlife crisis? Meaning, they learn to cope with difficult emotions and decisions and opportunities and choices earlier on in life, whether that might create a runway for a richer healthier life going forward. Like, there’s an opportunity here.

Mike Burns

Statewide MDT Coordinator

Attention MDT Coordinators: Registration for MDT Coordinator Training is now open in Coalition Manager! This year, training is in person at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. Speaker information and further details will be coming soon. I hope to see you all there.

Register for the MDT Coordinator Training 

Ya'Shika Reed

Training and Prevention Specialist

Please take a look and pass along our upcoming

training list to your staff and your teams.

Mental Health Supervision 

MHS 9/13

MHS 9/19

Annual Director Meeting and Conference

Oct 25-27 Champaign, Il 

Fee $40

Annual Director Meeting and Conference 

Annual Advocate Conference 

Nov 2-3 Bloomington, Il 

Fee $40

Annual Advocate Conference

MDT Coordinator Training

Nov 16-17 Springfield, Il

Fee $40

MDT Coordinator Training

Kathy L Murphy

VOCA Fiscal Grant Monitor

Kathy Murphy.jpg

Upcoming Due Dates:

CESF September Fiscal Expense PFR due Wednesday, October 5, 2022 

VOCA September Fiscal Expense PFR due Monday, October 10, 2022 

Michael Morgan

VOCA Program Grant Monitor

Michael Morgan Pic 2.JPG

Here are all the due FY23 dates for our VOCA and CESF reports:

October 5, 2022– CESF PFR Expense Report

October 5, 2022– CESF Quarterly Reports

October 11, 2022– VOCA PFR Expense Report

October 11, 2022– VOCA Quarterly Reports

November 7, 2022 – CESF PFR Expense Report (5th is on Saturday)

November 10, 2022 – VOCA PFR Expense Report

November 15-30, 2022 – CESF Budget Modification Accepted

           No CESF Budget Modification will be accepted after November 30th

December 5, 2022 – CESF PFR Expense Report

December 12, 2022 – VOCA PFR Expense Report (10 is on Saturday)

Have you ever wondered what happens at a Children's Advocacy Center? Join the McLean County Children's Advocacy Center for an open house to learn about the CAC process, tour their wonderful facility, and learn about ways to get involved!

The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois (CACI), a 501(c)(3) agency, is a statewide membership organization dedicated to helping communities, through local child advocacy centers (41 CACs in Illinois, serving all 102 counties), respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first.


Call the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE

(800-252-2873) if you suspect that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect. If you believe a child is in immediate danger of harm, call 911 first.

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