Engaging Faith Communities in the Fight Against Abuse
CACCC is proud to announce its new faith-based initiative to encourage faith communities to take steps to protect the children they serve. Partners in Protection is a membership group that is designed to provide faith communities with recommendations and suggestions for youth protection. Through the Partners in Protection program, faith communities can achieve recognition by the CACCC and its Faith Alliance for Children for being proactive about child protection.
Thus far, four communities have completed the process to become Partners in Protection: Avenue F Church of Christ, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Community and Stonebridge United Methodist Church. Others are in the process of completing background checks and training for all staff and child-serving volunteers.
To become a Partner in Protection, faith communities must adhere to best practices recommended by CACCC and the Faith Alliance for Children. Best practices for child protection include annual training on recognizing and reporting child abuse for all staff members and child-serving volunteers, annual criminal background checks and the implementation of youth protection policies.
By becoming Partners in Protection, faith communities of all denominations can demonstrate their commitment to creating a safe environment for children and youth in order to help prevent child abuse and respond appropriately should it occur.
“With every faith community that commits to these best practices, children are better protected from child predators who look for opportunities to gain access to children,” said Lynne McLean, CEO. “Together we can make sure that Collin County faith communities know how to respond to abuse and prevent it from happening whenever possible.”
Interested in seeing your faith community become a Partner in Protection? Visit caccollincounty.org/faith to learn more.
Join us for the Teddy Bear Ride
Each year, hundreds of bikers take to the streets of North Texas to highlight the plight of abused children and encourage others to join the fight against child abuse. Participants adorn their bikes with plush new teddy bears which will make their way into the arms of waiting children who come to the CACCC for help following an outcry of abuse.
The Teddy Bear Ride is our longest-standing fundraising event and sends a powerful message that child abuse is not tolerated in our community. On October 30th, join the hundreds of returning participants to let children know they are not alone and to fight against child abuse in Collin County! Sponsorships are now available. Find out more at caccollincounty.org/teddybearride
Interested in learning more about the Teddy Bear Ride or becoming a sponsor? Contact Special Events manager Dana Packard at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 972-633-6602.
Not All Online Friends Are Bad
Allison was just 13 years old when she began visiting online chat rooms to make friends as an escape from the upheaval she was experiencing at home. Allison’s father began sexually abusing her that year and also began to drive a wedge between Allison and her mother, isolating his daughter so that she had no one in whom she could confide.
Like many tweens, Allison found an online community where she made friends. There she found acceptance and a listening ear in the form of another tween friend. She confided in her friend that she was being sexually abuse by her father.
The idea of children communicating with others online is frightening, and parents should closely monitor their children’s online communication. In this case, it led to good for Allison. Allison’s friend reported the abuse to law enforcement allowing Allison to finally get the help she needed. She was forensically interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center and confided her dad’s ongoing abuse. She also shared that she didn’t feel like she could trust her mom.
Today, Allison and her mom are finally communicating again. Her father was arrested, and Allison’s relationship with her mom is being restored bit by bit. We are so in awe of Allison’s online friend who had the courage to help her and in awe of Allison who is rebuilding her life.