LACASA Center’s Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Council recently earned state-wide recognition along with an increase in funding from the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund (CTF).
The CAP Council provides awareness programs throughout Livingston County that teach members of the community how to help prevent child abuse and child sexual abuse.
CTF promoted the CAP Council to a Tier III status, which is the highest local council level available through the nonprofit organization. The change in status means LACASA’s CAP Council will receive an annual grant of $20,000, up from its former $10,000 yearly stipend.
Each county in the state is served by a CTF-designated local council. Funding for CTF local councils is based on a tier structure, from Tier I through Tier III. Tier levels are assigned to councils based on each organization’s staffing, policies, procedures, and the prevention work it accomplishes within the community, said CAP Council Coordinator Holly Naylor.
“The Livingston County community has consistently demonstrated support for the CAP Council in many ways,” Naylor said, “including participating in our annual Pinwheels for Prevention campaign and Pinwheel Garden Project held county-wide each April during Child Abuse Prevention Month.”
The CAP Council collaborates with local agencies to host a variety of classes, workshops and events that help keep children of all ages safe.
Infant safety programs include monthly Baby B Safe classes, Community Baby Shower, parenting awareness events, and classes on how to prevent shaken baby syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome.
“Each summer we host our CAP Kids’ Fair, which includes safety information for children as well as parents,” said Naylor. “Local agencies and businesses set up booths and provide food items or prizes for the event. Local performers entertain the kids and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department provides safety programs.”
CAP also conducts child abuse prevention workshops several times a year for teachers, parents and child caregivers. These programs include Stewards of Children and Mandated Reporter Training, which help teachers, social workers, counselors, parents, and child caregivers recognize, respond to and take appropriate action in suspected cases of child abuse.
“Our council receives a tremendous response from local media,” said Naylor. “The CTF board has been impressed with the support and publicity provided for CAP programs by local print, broadcast and online news outlets.”
Naylor said the council hopes to grow community involvement even more as it utilizes the increased CTF funding to add new programs aimed at preventing child abuse and child sexual abuse in Livingston County.