As we all continue to stay inside thanks to COVID-19, there is a group of individuals possibly most vulnerable indoors: children living with an abusive family member. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County (CACCC) has been on the front lines of protecting children in Plano since 1992, and even in these challenging circumstances, continue to do so.
Community Relations Manager Jamie Ginden said, “We typically see an increase in reports around May because teachers want to report kids they think are possibly being abused before school lets out for the summer. Teachers are some of our biggest reporters, and we’re not seeing that influx of reports right now because the kids are at home.”
Still, everyone in the State of Texas is a mandated reporter by law. Even if you suspect abuse, you should report it.
“If you think a child is being abused, there’s no way for you to spend extra time with them. You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. If you hear yelling, or if you see the child and they have bruises, report it,” Jamie said.
In regular times, CACCC offers forensic interviews, family advocacy and therapy. It offers free therapy for life for any child who has gone through abuse. The therapy team is currently seeing clients via telemedicine technology, which allows these professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat individuals from a distance.
Although the only people coming into the CACCC during the pandemic are emergency cases, there are still many children and families in need of help.
How You Can Help:
Go to CACCC’s website to make a financial donation or shop the COVID-19 emergency-needs Amazon Wishlist. This is set up for families who have escaped abusive situations, but now are at risk in a single-parent household. That parent is either jobless or working, but without adequate childcare. Through the Wishlist, you can donate grocery gift cards, diapers, formula, Pack ‘n Plays, toothbrushes, toiletries, underwear, socks, clothing and other essential items.
This year the annual fundraising gala has moved online. Bid at the the online auction beginning 6 p.m. May 13 through 6 p.m. May 16. or watch the live stream event at 6:30 p.m. May 14.
If You Think Someone Needs Help:
If you have any concerns or suspicions of child abuse, call the Texas Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400. If the child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County >
Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County
2205 Los Rios Blvd.
Plano, TX 75074