The grant comes from the foundation’s Berwick Health & Wellness Fund to offset the cost of forensic interviews during child abuse investigations. Forensic interviews gather information to advocate for victims of abuse in the courtroom, and they save children from repeat, often traumatic interviews.
The funding will help pay for more than 40 forensic interviews, which nears the average number conducted each year by the Child Advocacy Center to serve children in Columbia and Luzerne counties. Funding is not readily available for forensic interviews, and they are not reimbursed by insurance companies, so the center relies on assistance from Children and Youth Services, philanthropic giving and grants to cover costs.
“The Child Advocacy Center provides a safe, neutral environment for child victims and their families where the well-being of children is the top priority,” said Melissa Wagner, program director of child safety and advocacy at the Child Advocacy Center. “The generosity of the Community Giving Foundation will help us make sure every child referred to us is provided the resources they need.”
The Child Advocacy Center was established in 2004 in collaboration with Geisinger’s Department of Pediatrics to provide a comprehensive, child-centered approach to the investigation and treatment of child abuse. The center has grown from serving 74 child abuse victims in 2004 to serving 557 in a seven-county region in 2021.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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