The Robert and Polly Dunn Foundation has recognized the importance of KIDS Place Franklin and the impact it has had on children in Macon County and wants to help. Now through Jan. 31, 2013, the Atlanta-based foundation has offered to match dollar for dollar donations to KIDS Place up to $20,000.
Alisa Ashe, executive director of the children’s advocacy center KIDS Place, explained that the funds would be a tremendous benefit for the nationally-accredited KIDS Place, which provides hope and healing for children who have been abused. KIDS Place is a private, non-profit center that offers counseling, medical evaluations, court support, forensic interviews, case coordination, and community education about child abuse.
If obtained, the funds will be used to provide counseling and coordination of services for children who have been abused. Ashe is hopeful the community will take advantage of this opportunity to double their donations.
“Need a gift idea?,” asked Ashe “Donations may be made in honor or in memory of someone special in your life. And, don't forget that your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.”
During the last year, the therapist who works with KIDS Place completed a yearlong training collaborative on Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), through the North Carolina Child Treatment Program. This treatment program teaches children and their caregivers how to recognize and respond to symptoms of trauma in healthy, positive ways. “In our experience, children completing this evidencebased treatment showed a 90 percent reduction in symptoms of trauma,” said Ashe. “These children and their therapist work hard to complete treatment and we are so proud of their accomplishments.”
KIDS Place provides medical evaluations, on-site, for children who allege abuse. “We are very pleased that children coming here for an exam receive care from a compassionate and knowledgeable physician who has had specialized training in child abuse diagnostics,” said Ashe. “She is recognized and rostered by the Child Medical Evaluation Program at UNC-Chapel Hill as having specialized training in this field.
Forensic interviews are conducted at the request of law enforcement and Social Services. The KIDS Place Forensic Interviewer has a Master's Degree in Social Work and has had additional training in evidence-based interview methods.
“We are very honored to be able to help families through a difficult time in their lives, but we could not do this work without you,” said Ashe. “Thank you for supporting our mission to provide hope and healing for abused children and their families through coordinated services in a child-friendly place.”
KIDS Place works toward community education by being available to do presentations on topics such as Recognizing and Responding to Child Abuse, Socially Skilled Child Molesters, Child Abuse Prevention Strategies, and of course education about KIDS Place — who we are, what we do, who we serve, explained Ashe. "We will gladly do presentations for churches, school personnel, community groups, civic organizations," said Ashe.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and during the month of April, KIDS Place works with businesses and individuals in town to plant royal blue Pinwheels for Prevention "gardens." "Last year there were more than 2,000 pinwheels displayed in Franklin during the month of April," said Ashe. "We also display royal blue bows on all of the lamposts on Main Street as a way of calling attention to the problem of child abuse."
For additional information on making a donation to KIDS Place, call (828)524-3199, or visit their website: www.kidsplacecac.org.