Top 10 for 2022

The last week of December is a fantastic time to reflect on everything that has happened in the last 12 months.  One of my favorite pastimes is to read the “Top 10” lists for the year and check out the movies, books, music, and other “best of” lists for the year.  For the End of Year Review for Children’s Center, I decided to compile my own TOP 10 List!

It was challenging to only list 10!  We have been working hard this year to meet the goals of our Strategic Plan, and we have had great success.  The three areas of our plan are to:  Build and Strengthen Organization Resilience, Elevate the Conversation (by reaching more people and building knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to child maltreatment), and to Lead Systems that Heal.  Each of the items listed below are the direct result of our staff, Board, and community coming together to meet these goals and achieve our vision of creating a world where all children are safe, valued, and heard.

Now, in no particular order, I present to you my TOP 10 List for Children’s Center for 2022!

  1. Increased and Improved our Assessment Services
    Thanks to increased support from the community, we were able to expand our clinical team this year, adding additional medical providers, bilingual staff, Family Support Specialists, and Outreach Specialists. In addition to investments in our staff, we have also upgraded our technology and are using state of the art equipment in our forensic interviews and medical examinations. With these improvements, we are on track to provide high quality, trauma-informed assessments to over 500 children and families this fiscal year.
  2. Expanded our Therapy Program
    We are now in our fourth year of providing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to children and families who have experienced the trauma of abuse and neglect.  This year, we were able to realize our dream of adding additional staff so that we can increase access to therapy services for children and their protective caregivers.  In the context of a general lack of mental health services for young people in Oregon, this accomplishment cannot be overstated!
  3. Prevention and Community Engagement Program Grows by Leaps and Bounds
    Our goal is to share the message with as many people as possible that communities can prevent child abuse and neglect. We reached more members of our local, state, and global community than at any other time in our history! Through the use of social media, radio, television and programs, thousands of Oregonians learned about what they can do to make a difference and create safe communities.  We launched our quarterly Community Conversations and Connections Events and have had incredible discussions with partners, parents, and business, government, and community leaders.  These discussions have already led to concrete plans and greater connections across multiple sectors in our community.
  4. Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Project Funded
    In a very exciting and recent development, Children’s Center was included in the Omnibus Spending Bill that recently passed the US House and Senate and was signed by President Biden this week. Thanks to the advocacy and support of Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, we will receive a grant of $252,000 for a Community Based Child Abuse Prevention project that will allow us to work with our partners to create coordinated efforts to prevent child abuse at the family, school, community, and state level!
  5. Collaborated with State Leadership to Improve Medical Services for Children
    Our Medical Director collaborated with Oregon Child Abuse Solutions (the Oregon network of CACs) and other Child Abuse pediatricians to provide much needed training for medical providers across the state of Oregon to recognize and respond to abuse and neglect in their patients.  This model has gained national recognition as an approach to provide early recognition and response to child abuse and neglect and improve outcomes for children and families.
  6. Incredible Donation Allows us to Own our Building
    Children’s Center is blessed to have a beautiful building that was specially designed for our services.  Thanks to an amazing donation from a generous and long-time benefactor, we were able to pay off the remainder of our mortgage!  This financial investment allows us to look long into the future of Children’s Center and to use our funds to invest in providing more services to children and families in our community.
  7. Facility Improvements and Expansion
    This summer, Children’s Center was able to expand our physical space by moving into the lower section of our building.  We were grateful to have Morrison Child and Family Services as our tenant for the last 10 years, but our growing staff and services made it the right time for us to absorb the space.  We are calling this area the “Elva Community Engagement Wing” in honor of Elva Tokarski, a long-term major supporter of Children’s Center. In addition to office spaces for our Prevention and Community Engagement, Development and Communications, and Operations programs, we are providing lunchroom space for staff as well as an exercise area and a mediation/relaxation space for staff to engage in self-care while at work.
  8. A GREAT Place to Work
    Children’s Center placed among the top 10 Medium Sized Non-Profits in the Oregon Business Magazine’s Top 100 Non-Profits to Work For list! This ranking came from survey results of our staff and was largely due to the intentional efforts of our employees to improve workplace culture and mitigate Vicarious Trauma.  This accomplishment is something to feel very proud about and helps us to recruit and retain staff during this time of labor shortages.
  9. Champions for Childhood Gala Success
    After 2 years of “virtual” galas, it was an absolute thrill to be back in person for our Annual Gala!  This year, we changed up our theme and had our Inaugural Champions for Childhood Gala at the Oregon Golf Club.  At this event, we celebrated all that is wonderful about being a child and encouraged our guests to come dressed as their childhood hero.  From Mr. Rogers to Batman to Mary Poppins, the room was filled with our favorite heroes!  This unforgettable event exceeded our fundraising goal, helping to ensure the stability of our programs for the next year. We can’t wait to see you all again next year- mark your calendar for September 29th, 2023!
  10. Celebrated our 20th Anniversary
    Twenty years ago, Children’s Center started out with the vision of a few committed and passionate individuals.  The dream of providing trauma-informed Child Advocacy Services close to home for children in Clackamas County became a reality through the hard work and collaboration of multiple individuals and agencies, including the District Attorney, Willamette Falls Hospital, and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office.  Today, we are going stronger than ever, and we look forward to what we can accomplish in the next 20 years!  What a wonderful way to end our year!
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