In 2012, ChildLine, Pennsylvania’s child abuse hotline, registered 26,664 reports of suspected abuse and/or eglect; an increase of 2,286 reports from the previous year. Pennsylvania received more reports of suspected child and student abuse in 2012 than any other year on record.
The PinnacleHealth Children’s Resource Center (CRC)
is one of the oldest nationally accredited child advocacy centers in Pennsylvania. Opened in 1994, the CRC has provided services to over 9,500 children suspected of having been physically or sexually abused or neglected or who have witnessed violence in their home or community.
The CRC conducts forensic interviews of children in a consistent, non-leading manner, provides medical exams to obtain evidence and ensure the health and safety of the child, connects the child and their non-offending caregiver to mental health services, and facilitates collaboration of agencies involved in child abuse investigations (law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services). This coordinated approach is designed to reduce the trauma to child victims associated with multiple interviews, while improving the quality of information obtained.
The center also provides public awareness programs that focus on educating the community about child abuse and identifying victims that can be referred for advocacy services. Collaboration with law enforcement and victim services agencies is highly valued to achieve the maximum advocacy for primary and secondary victims needing services.
The CRC also provides a collaborative environment for victim support and advocacy programs (YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, Victim/Witness Assistance Program) and treatment programs (county Mental Health/Mental Retardation services and private behavioral health agencies) to share resources and information to ensure the affected child and their caregiver/s receive support throughout the investigative process.
Because no family incurs any costs for services provided at the CRC, the CRC runs an annual deficit to provide these vital medical and mental health services to children. Support from our donors aides the CRC with providing these services to the children of our community.