The Child Abuse Investigation Team of Northwest Connecticut (CAIT NW), a program of The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Center for Youth and Families, will be holding its fifth annual “Pinwheels for Prevention” Child Abuse Prevention Recognition Awards Ceremony on April 20th at the Torrington Elks Lodge.
The event is held annually to bring together and recognize professionals working with children in the northwest corner, their co-workers, family members, and friends. The event highlights Child Abuse Prevention Month and services for area children who have been victims of child abuse. The concept of “pinwheels”, which represent the carefree nature of children, was created in Ohio to help bring attention to child abuse and neglect and remind people of the collective responsibility everyone shares to ensuring their safety.
The keynote speaker for this year’s breakfast event is Dr. William Petit from the Petit Family Foundation. In 2011 the Petit Family Foundation provided the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Center for Youth and Families Child Advocacy Center with funding to support a new position in which a parent would be on staff as an additional resource for families struggling to heal from abuse. Dr. Petit will be speaking on the importance of parents being active in the healing process and the importance of moving from victim to survivor.
The CYF Parent Partner is one of the first position of its kind to be housed by a Child Advocacy Center. Our parent partner has children who have experienced sexual abuse and all successfully completed trauma focused therapy to aid in the healing process. She offers great insight and support to families who fear that the healing process is impossible.
During the awards ceremony, four professionals will be honored for their dedication and commitment to protecting children in Litchfield County:
Lifetime Achievement Award – Bob Kauffman, Bob’s Discount Furniture
- This award is given to individuals who have steadfastly shown a dedication to the protection and oversight of children who have been abused or are at risk of being exposed to the many types of abuse. Bob has countlessly provided donations and his time to number of charitable organizations. This past year Bob donation furniture to the CAIT NW team for the forensic interview space located at the Center for Youth and Families.
- This award is given to individuals in the court system who have shown a special desire and dedication to victims and families of child abuse. Geraldine has worked for the past 15 years in the juvenile justice system. Gerry is currently a child protection contract attorney through the Office of Chief Public Defender, representing children, parents, and delinquent youth. She has been recognized as a great support to families within the juvenile justice system.
- Professionals Award – Louise Brockway, LMFT – CHH Center for Youth and Families.
- This award is given to a dedicated expert with the community who has displayed compassion for and commitment to children above and beyond that of her peers. Louise shows incredible passion for children and families experiencing abuse. She is a full-time clinician at the Center for Youth and Families where she focuses on children experiencing trauma. She is trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and has spent years working with children throughout Connecticut. She is a wonderful asset to the CAIT NW team and offers a wealth of knowledge to our community.
- Community Service Award – Dr. Lawrence Lee, Pediatric Dentistry
This award is given to community members who have unselfishly helped children in either a professional or personal setting, showing a strong desire to make the quality of children’s lives better. Dr. Lawrence Lee in Torrington has been a great supporter to the CAIT NW team and has donated his time and knowledge during the CT CHIPS event that is held annually in by the team. His steadfast desire to help children in the Northwest Corner has been seen by patients and community members alike.
The Child Abuse Investigation Team of Northwest Connecticut is a multi-disciplinary group which coordinates the activities of the agencies involved in child abuse case investigation throughout the region. Formed in 1997, the team includes representatives from the state and local police departments, CT Department of Children and Families, CHH Center for Youth & Families, Northwest Center for Family Service & Mental Health, CT Office of Victim Services, CT State’s Attorney’s Office, CT Juvenile Court, Susan B. Anthony Project, and area pediatricians and mental health professionals.
The team meets regularly to discuss child abuse cases that occur in Northwest Connecticut. The team identifies system needs and works cooperatively to improve the investigation and prosecution of cases with the goal of improving protection of child victims from further abuse and trauma.
“Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, neighbor or family friend, most everyone has a child in their life that they care about and want to see happy and healthy. We encourage people to think about how they can help protect the children in their lives and community.” Said Joan Neveski, LCSW, Clinical Manager for The Center For Youth and Families Child Advocacy Center.
For more details on any of the above programs, please contact the Center for Youth & Families at 489-3391.
The Child Abuse Investigation Team of Northwest Connecticut is one of several program and services offered at the CHH for Youth and FamiliesChildAdvocacyCenter. Other services offered include SAFE assessments for children, Connections support for children with autism, Nuestra Comunidad counseling in Spanish, Charlotte’s Place victim services program, Bridges Extended Day Treatment Facility after school program, Foster Care Clinic, and outpatient mental health services for children up to age 18 years and their families. TheCharlotteHungerfordHospital is a 109 bed, general acute care hospital located inTorrington,Connecticut, serving 100,000 residents of northwestConnecticut in 15 towns. Visit www.charlottehungerford.org.