US Supreme Court Rules on Child Abuse Prosecutions
The US Supreme Court ruled on June 18, 2015 ini relation to child abuse prosecutions. The Court unanimously held in Ohio v. Clark that the three year old child's statements to his teachers about his physical injuries and who caused them were not "testimonial" and therefore were not subject to Confrontation Clause objection.
In the lower court decision, the 4-3 majority of the Ohio Supreme Court had placed emphasis on the fact that teachers are mandatory reporters when they receive information about child abuse. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned that decision and said that the existence of a mandatory-reporting requirement did not turn the child's statements into "testimonial" statements.
This case and the ruling are significant in regards to the importance of the implications of the ruling for children, prosecutors and CAC's nationwide.
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Child Advocacy Center Receives
$5,000 Plum Creek Foundation Grant
Funds to Support Reducing Trauma to Abused Children
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Child Advocacy Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving abused and neglected children in Alachua County, was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Plum Creek Foundation. These funds will support the Center’s Reducing Trauma to Abused Children Therapy Program.
The Child Advocacy Center in Gainesville provides a child-friendly, safe and supportive environment for abused and neglected children. Through the Center, a team of social workers, counselors, law enforcement officers, state attorneys, victim advocates, guardians ad litem and medical professionals work together to coordinate investigations and interventions for each child abuse case.
“The Child Advocacy Center’s therapy program is the only one of its kind for children in our community,” said Sherry Kitchens, President and CEO of the Child Advocacy Center. “The funds from Plum Creek will continue to ensure that children who need play therapy will receive those services completely free of charge.”
The Reducing Trauma to Abused Children Therapy Program provides therapeutic services at the Child Advocacy Center to help abused children and their families or surrogate families heal from the emotional wounds associated with the trauma of abuse.
Therapeutic interventions focus on reducing symptoms of trauma and supporting resiliency. A variety of treatment modalities are available to meet the unique needs of each child and family. The Program offers crisis intervention, individual therapy and family therapy as well as supportive counseling and psycho-educational group interventions, as appropriate.
The Center’s therapy program provides prompt response to abused children residing in Alachua County and targets victims who lack the means to obtain specialized treatment for abuse while delivering timely mental health services to children in need. When abused children get the appropriate intervention to help them recover from the effects of the abuse, they are empowered to be successful in their home lives, in their schools and in their communities.
“Plum Creek recognizes the importance of the Child Advocacy Center’s collaborative approach to child abuse intervention, investigation and treatment,” said Allison Megrath, a manager of real estate for Plum Creek. “We are proud to play an important role in ensuring child abuse victims receive the services they need to heal from their abuse.”
The Plum Creek Foundation supports non-profit organizations that improve the overall quality of life in the communities where Plum Creek operates. The Foundation board meets quarterly to review submitted grant applications. Visit www.plumcreek.com/communityinvolvement to download an application and learn more about the foundation grant program in addition to other ways that Plum Creek is serving its communities.
For more information about the Child Advocacy Center, visit www.childadvocacycentergainesville.org.