Register Now for Internet Safety Training

Register now for “Internet Safety and Kids with Disabilities: What parents and providers need to know.” Led by Chicago Police Detective Charles Hollendoner and Susan Kahan, MA, LPC of the UIC Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic, this training equips caregivers… Read More

Advocacy action: Help improve DCFS investigations involving children with disabilities

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Representative Patricia Bellock (R-Westmont) introduced House Bill 5643 (HB5643) to improve DCFS investigations involving children with disabilities. Rep. Bullock consulted with ChicagoCAC and our Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities (CASACD) to ensure the bill moves Illinois in the right direction to provide best practice services for children with disabilities who have been abused or neglected.

HB5643 amends the Illinois Children and Family Services Act and would create the Enhanced Services for Children with Disabilities Task Force to examine and review the Department of Children & Family Services’ protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse or neglect.

Please contact your state representative and senator now to help improve child protective investigations for some of our most vulnerable children. Please hurry – the deadline for public comment is Friday, April 15! 

Take action

First, find your state senator’s and representative’s contact information here. Then click the button below to send them our template email. Be sure to add in their names in the “dear” field, and fill in your mailing address at the bottom.

Having trouble? Copy and paste this message into the body of an email:

Dear [LEGISLATOR],

I’m writing to ask you to support House Bill 5643, the DCFS Enhanced Services Task Force bill. As your constituent, I am passionate about ensuring that all children – and especially children with disabilities – receive the best care in the aftermath of abuse or neglect.

HB5643 would amend the Children and Family Services Act to create the Enhanced Services for Children with Disabilities Task Force, which will example and review the Department of Children & Family Services’ protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse and neglect.

I urge you to work with Rep. Patricia Bellock and your colleagues to move HB5643 forward for a hearing, so that children with disabilities who are involved in a child abuse investigation have access to the protection, services and care they need.

It is the duty and responsibility of the State of Illinois to provide all necessary services to protect abused children, and we have an added responsibility to ensure that children with disabilities – who are three to five times more likely to be abused – receive the care that meets their needs.

Thank you for your swift action to protect children in Illinois.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME] [YOUR ADDRES] [YOUR CITY, STATE & ZIP]

Or call your legislators using this script:

I’m [YOUR NAME], a constituent of [LEGISLATOR]. I am calling to ask [LEGISLATOR] to support House Bill 5643, which would create a task force to examine and review the DCFS protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse or neglect. As a constituent, I am passionate about providing the best services and care for children who have been abused, and we have an added responsibility to ensure that children with disabilities have services that meet their needs. I urge [LEGISLATOR] to work with [his/her] colleagues in the General Assembly to pass this important legislation. Thank you.

Thank you for making a difference for children and families! Help us spread the word by sharing this page with your networks! 

Questions? Contact Trevor Peterson: (312) 492-3728 or TPeterson@ChicagoCAC.org

A bill to improve the state’s response to abuse of children with disabilities was recently introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives. Please take a moment now to contact your legislators and ensure children with disabilities get the services they need – we make it easy!

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault Conference

Thank you to New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault for inviting us to speak at their 2016 conference! ChicagoCAC Director of Strategic Initiatives Meg O’Rourke and our partner Susan Kahan from the UIC Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic presented on their work with our Coalition Against Sexual Assault of Children with Disabilities (CASACD). Learn more about preventing abuse of children with disabilities.

Thank you to New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault for inviting us to speak at their 2016 conference! ChicagoCAC Director of Strategic Initiatives Meg O’Rourke and our partner Susan Kahan from the UIC Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic… Read More

Safety & Autism Webinar

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Register today to join us for a free, 90-minute webinar on Monday, December 7. “Safety & Autism: Helping caregivers and providers” will cover the basics of sexual abuse, strategies to keep children safe, and ways to make conversations about sex and safety easier for children with disabilities.

Resources for Children with Disabilities

Our new prevention programming is structured around a stoplight, which helps adults recognize the differences between appropriate, inappropriate and abusive behaviors. When it comes to talking to our children – and especially our children with disabilities – the same stoplight can help kids identify these behaviors and feel comfortable about speaking up. Check out our free resources to learn more.

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Our new prevention programming is structured around a stoplight, which helps adults recognize the differences between appropriate, inappropriate and abusive behaviors. When it comes to talking to our children – and especially our children with disabilities – the same stoplight can help kids identify these behaviors and feel comfortable about speaking up. Check out our free resources to learn more.

Keeping My Family Safe

Preventing sexual abuse starts with caring adults taking responsibility to protect children and youth. Parents, know the important things you can communicate to your child, behaviors to watch out for and steps to take to keep children safe. Check out ChicagoCAC’s new “Keeping My Family Safe” handbook for useful sexual abuse prevention tools. 

ChicagoCAC Keeping My Family Safe Preview

Preventing sexual abuse starts with caring adults taking responsibility to protect children and youth. Parents, know the important things you can communicate to your child, behaviors to watch out for and steps to take to keep children safe…. Read More

Safety on the Spectrum

Today, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center co-facilitated a workshop to educate parents and professionals about the steps they can take to reduce the risk of sexual abuse of children with autism. Thanks to a grant from The Autism Project and through collaboration with UIC’s Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic, 100 people attended this free workshop. Due to the overwhelming response, ChicagoCAC and UIC will present the workshop again in the near future!

Today, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center co-facilitated a workshop to educate parents and professionals about the steps they can take to reduce the risk of sexual abuse of children with autism. Thanks to a grant from The Autism Project… Read More

Local coalition seeks to help children with disabilities live free from sexual abuse

Press Release | August 19, 2013

In collaboration with Stop It Now!, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) recently introduced prevention tip sheets for caregivers of children with disabilities. The tip sheets include practical advice on topics such as: family safety planning to prevent child abuse, how to talk to children to reduce vulnerability to sexual abuse, how to protect your children from abuse in program settings, and behaviors to watch for when adults, teens or children are at risk to harm a child.

According to research, 90 percent of people with disabilities will experience some form of sexual assault or abuse in their lives. People with disabilities may be more susceptible to abuse because of their need for support services, which may place them in vulnerable situations. This can be further complicated by communication impairments and/or physical challenges that make it difficult for people with disabilities to protect themselves from abuse and to inform others of abuse when it does occur. Read More

Press Release | August 19, 2013 In collaboration with Stop It Now!, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) recently introduced prevention tip sheets for caregivers of children with disabilities. The tip sheets include practical advice on topics such as:… Read More