To call it an "annual report" seems too traditional for my taste, but it is the simplest explanation. I'm not a fan of preparing lengthy written reports and I typically pay more attention to bullet points than paragraphs. How about you?
It's no simple task to define how Dearing House is meeting our mission of hearing, helping , healing children because what we do varies from day to day, moment to moment, and sometimes we can offer a quick fix and other times the services to child victims we provide are needed for years!
So what I've prepared for your reading enjoyment is a graph...of sorts...using the standards required of all child advocacy centers by the National Children's Alliance (NCA). You'll see those categories on the left and moving to the right, are a few of the examples of how we meet those expectations.
Our MDT...multidisciplinary child protection team...is vital to every aspect of our work. Opening lines of communication and collaboration among more than a dozen agencies is the most efficient and effective way of responding to child abuse. The team met 50 times last year and has outgrown our building so we are delighted that Standing Bear Museum opens its doors to us. Helping team members stay current on research and best practices for child victims is also a big task for Dearing House!
Most people probably know that Dearing House is used for forensic Interviews of child victims. Behind the scenes, however, is the extensive training and peer review processes required, and the need to stay up-to-date with technology.
Victim Advocacy is a very broad term, and involves every aspect of the child's experience at Dearing House, and when necessary, at the courthouse. Victim Advocacy also includes supporting parents as they wade through the process of child abuse investigation, and offering training and information that can prevent further trauma to the child.
Our Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner goes above and beyond to assure the well-being of victims. On-going training and peer review are part of that, and like forensic interviewing, the technology of documenting her work changes. Specialized training by our medical partners in Noble County assists victims of physical abuse.
Specialized counseling and trauma response is essential to the healing process of children and families, and to be able to offer it at no charge to families removes many barriers and obstacles. Often the most effective approach is to support and instruct parents on how to prevent further trauma to their children. Our Break the Cycle class for parents has proven to be very effective.
This is actually the FIRST annual report you will see from Dearing House as we were incorporated in 2019 and recognized by the IRS has a 501c3 charitable program. The board of Dearing House Inc is solely focused on the effectiveness and sustainability of our services, and diligent about accountability and transparency at all levels. We've also expanded our reach to the public through events and social media and gained 20 new investors who believe in the value of our mission, We celebrated by adding children's art to our fence, upgrading our website, and bring more volunteers and interns on board!
Did you learn something new? Call or respond with any comments or questions! I don't know which of these items excites me more, so I hope you can see how Dearing House is moving forward on hearing, helping, healing children!