The Child Advocacy Program (CAP) in partnership with Chautauqua County Mental Hygiene (CCMH) provides counseling services at CAP. The agencies had four local professionals complete a year-long, specialized training in conjunction with DukeUniversity’s Evidence-based PracticeImplementationCenter.
Through the initiative, CCMH clinicians Karen Dillon, LMSW, and Tamie Gates, LMSW, along with CAP’s Tammy Simmons, LMSW, were trained to provide trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy (TF-CBT). Jana McDermott, CAP’s Executive Director was trained as a senior leader, responsible for implementing and sustaining TF-CBT; McDermott is also charged with addressing service delivery challenges and community education.
TF-CBT is an evidence-supported treatment for addressing symptoms commonly experienced by child victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. TF-CBT also provides caregivers with the support needed to help children. The Duke training was paid for by a grant from the NortheastRegionChildAdvocacyCenter.
Providing mental health services at CAP means that children more immediately set foot on the path to healing and recovery. In 2012, CAP provided onsite counseling to 79 children, totaling 596 counseling sessions. Still the need is great. CAP refers children to local partner agencies including Catholic Charities, Family Service of the Chautauqua Region and Chautauqua County Mental Hygiene, to ensure all children needing counseling, receive the service.
At CAP, counseling is provided regardless of a family’s ability to pay. CAP’s Executive Director Jana McDermott states, “We tap a variety of funding streams to ensure children receive counseling services”. In April 2013 CAP auctioned counseling services at its signature Diamond Dinner fund raiser and plans to auction counseling services at CAP’s upcoming Corn Toss fund raiser to be held on August 17, 2013. McDermott states, “Counseling is vital to the healing of children who encounter abuse. Our community recognizes counseling as a necessity and some have allocated donations specifically for counseling services. We are very grateful for their support”.
CAP is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending child abuse in ChautauquaCounty. When abuse does occur, CAP coordinates a community response to bring healing, hope and justice to children and families. CAP is a United Way Agency. For more information about CAP, visit capjustice.org