Natalie was having panic attacks. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t think, and she could barely move. This wasn’t the first time she was overcome with anxiety, and her dad, Philippe, could only hope it would be the last.... Read more →
Today, we’re celebrating the 30,000 children and families we’ve served since opening our doors 15 years ago – and you can, too! Learn more and give.
Today, we’re celebrating the 30,000 children and families we’ve served since opening our doors 15 years ago – and you can, too! Learn more and give.
THANK YOU to the 65 donors who contributed $8,000 toward our #GivingTuesday campaign! It’s not too late to honor the 30,000 children and families we’ve served – and help us be here for the next 30,000. Click here to learn more.
We spent the day at our annual staff BBQ celebrating our staff, partners, supporters and the more than 30,000 children and families we’ve served since opening doors in 2001. Thanks to all who have been a part of… Read More
2016 marks Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center’s 15th anniversary serving children and families affected by sexual and physical abuse. Since opening our doors in 2001, we’ve served more than 30,000 children and families in Chicago.
In addition to celebrating the healing of our clients, our 15th anniversary is an opportunity to congratulate and thank our staff members for their incredible efforts to help these families. As part of our celebration for staff and supporters, we recognized a few staff with Outstanding Service Awards. Each honoree was nominated by their peers for their efforts to foster collaboration, create safe spaces and go above and beyond to serve children and families.
- Det. Charles Hollendoner
- Det. Jose Castaneda
- Ada Perez-Almuhtaseb
- Annette Milleville
- Dr. Marjorie Fujara
- Ana Correa
- Katy Irving
- Traneeka Mickell
Chicago Police Department
Det. Charles Hollendoner
Detective Charlie Hollendoner has worked at the center for all of its 15 years. His colleagues had incredible things to say about his kindness, his strong voice that bounces throughout our halls, and his dedication to helping our families. One nominee wrote:
His small gestures of kindness offer a reminder that, while all of our roles are different; we are all in this together. He helps foster a safe environment by creating a space of empathy and care.
In addition to the care he shows his colleagues, Detective Hollendoner is known for his incredible efforts to raise awareness in our community. He serves as a liaison to CPD when working with our families, tracking down evidence, or speaking publicly about internet safety and his role on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He makes all of his work about the people – the children, the caregivers – to help them achieve justice and stay safe. In short, Detective Hollendoner always asks how he can help, and he follows through.
Det. Jose Castaneda
Det. Castaneda is known for being incredibly helpful. With the most arrests in the Special Investigations Unit at ChicagoCAC, he is an amazing multi-tasker, picking up additional cases when his unit is short-staffed, staying past his shift to help out, and going above and beyond to handle cases, collaborate and serve our families without hesitation. One nomination read:
Det. Castaneda is a team player and always wants what is best for the children and families that ChicagoCAC serves. He always seeks justice for his victims. He knows that by acting immediately on investigations, he protects the victims and allows for the healing process.
In addition to his strong commitment to collaborating with partners, Det. Castaneda takes action to improve life at the center. He has an excellent sense of humor, and he is an active member of our Staff Advisory Council, vocalizing concerns and contributing to resolving issues quickly and thoroughly.
Department of Children and Family Services
When reviewing the nominations, we saw one word over and over in submissions about child protection specialist Ada Perez-Almuhtaseb: inspirational. From one nomination:
She embodies the ethics of social work, and her dedication to the families that she serves is inspiring.
She works every case with the utmost respect for our families. She has a reputation for having all the information that she and her team will need, with her excellent dedication to her work and her incredible attention to detail. Frequently overheard around the center is: “Ada’s on the case. She’ll have all the information we need.”
With families, she listens, she takes her time, and she enacts plans to protect children’s well-being quickly and thoughtfully. She “has an art for communicating with families,” especially to minimize the trauma of the information we share with our caregivers. It’s no wonder that our colleagues and our families love working with her.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
As Deputy Supervisor of the Sex Crimes Division, Annette has a true passion for her work, pouring her heart and soul into the cases seen at the center. She is constantly working to hold offenders accountable. One nomination read:
She is a fighter for these victims who gets results when it counts. I have learned a great deal under Annette’s leadership.
In addition to her work for victims, Annette’s has been a leader in the State’s Attorney’s Office in identifying statutes that do not allow adult sex offenders anywhere near the center, keeping children even safer in our care. She is engaged in numerous boards, committees and partnerships, and she has been directly responsible for changing legislation to better serve both child and adult victims of sexual abuse. Looking to the future, she has a vision for where she and her team need to head to better protect children and families. We can’t wait to see it enacted!
Cook County Health and Hospitals System
Dr. Marjorie Fujara
Dr. Marjorie Fujara, of Stroger Hospital, has worked at the center since 2001 and, last year, was promoted to the director of our medical clinic. By any account, she is an exceptional pediatrician who is kind, warm-hearted and caring in her every interaction with staff, partners and families.
A recurring theme in her nominations was her willingness to put children’s needs above all else. She expanded the medical clinic’s hours so that we can see more children. Her door is always open to answer questions or share information with the team. She makes the time to testify in court so that we can best advocate for children. She takes on many projects beyond her responsibilities – including trainings for emergency room staff – to ensure that children receive trauma-informed care. And she can regularly be seen at our staff yoga classes, leading parent cafes or just parading down the hallway, sharing a smile and a kind word.
Nominations for Dr. Fujara summed it up best:
It’s an honor to work with her. It’s an honor to call her a colleague. Our office is a better place when she’s here.
In her 15 years at ChicagoCAC, Dr. Fujara has contributed to the resiliency of thousands of children and families. For her passion, her kindness and her commitment to trauma-informed care, we’re thrilled to honor her with an Outstanding Service Award.
Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center
Since starting with us in 2001, Ana has consistently defined and set the bar high for being a family advocate at ChicagoCAC. She makes a lasting impression on our children and families with her patience, kindness and knowledge. And among our colleagues, she is one of the most respected members of our team.
Ana goes above and beyond to listen to families, to let caregivers talk – often for the first time – about the abuse their child endured, and to advocate for her families. One nomination captured Ana in a nutshell:
She is hard-working and often one of the last to leave the office. She is creative and resourceful in getting the families the services that they need.
For her outstanding advocacy efforts for families, for her longstanding commitment to the center and for the thousands upon thousands of families she has helped, we’re pleased to honor Ana Correa with an Outstanding Service Award.
Resource Manager Katy is known for her incredible commitment to our children and families. She continuously goes above and beyond the expectations of her job to make a difference – whether volunteering to host our Hope & Healing groups, coming in on days off to meet with caregivers, or taking every opportunity to be trained in our treatment techniques and modalities. Everything she does is in the best interest of our families. One nomination said:
Katy takes many calls from the community and, despite her busy schedule, always treats the people calling with respect, care, and concern, striving to understand and meet their needs…. She confronts complex situations every day, and she consistently brings her knowledge, problem-solving skills, and ability to meet the needs of the clients.
Katy demonstrates a strong belief in ChicagoCAC and to the profession of social work. She provides LCSW supervision to her colleagues, and she gives training and support for our internship program. And she fosters relationships with many partner agencies, helping find a space for therapy for our clients.
As a family advocate, Traneeka is known for providing incredible care to our families. She communicates clearly, thoughtfully and passionately with each of her families, ensuring that their needs are met and going above and beyond expectations.
When nominating Traneeka, people said:
She makes sure that her families leave the center with all the information and resources they need.
Traneeka positively contributes to collaboration at ChicagoCAC by being a beacon of light for her clients and partners to make sure that everyone is adequately being served.
Most recently, Traneeka has headed back to school to receive her master’s degree in social work. During that time, she served as an intern in our Education, Outreach and Prevention department, bringing her energy and verve to reaching people in the community about responding to child sexual abuse and, most importantly, preventing it. For her passion and her tireless efforts to help children and families, we’re proud to honor Traneeka for her outstanding service to ChicagoCAC.
2016 marks Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center’s 15th anniversary serving children and families affected by sexual and physical abuse. Since opening our doors in 2001, we’ve served more than 30,000 children and families in Chicago. In addition to celebrating the… Read More
Release: Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Public Building Commission Celebrate Center’s 15th Anniversary
(Chicago) – On August 4, 2016, the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) will join Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) at the new addition to their facility, 1240 S. Damen, for the Center’s15th anniversary celebration of being front-line responders to reports of child sexual and physical abuse.
The event will highlight milestones in the Center’s history and recognize the outstanding staff members, partners and supporters who have served more than 30,000 children and families affected by sexual and physical abuse.
“At ChicagoCAC, our focus is entirely on children and families healing from abuse,” ChicagoCAC Executive Director Char Rivette, MSW, LCSW said. “Our building is an embodiment of our mission. It is bright and colorful, bringing hope from the second you walk in. It provides privacy, but it’s open to facilitate collaboration among all of our partners. And most importantly, it’s home to the incredible staff – our family advocates, forensic interviewers, therapists and other professionals – who have helped more than 30,000 children and families heal from child sexual abuse.”
In 2001, the PBC oversaw the construction of the 24,000-square-foot facility that incorporates bright colors, shapes and other child-friendly features to minimize the trauma experienced by many of these youth.
In 2015, the PBC completed the construction of an 18,000-square-foot addition to the Center. The new space accommodates ChicagoCAC’s expanded programmatic efforts and includes an education center, therapy rooms, a new entrance and staff offices. The PBC served as the developer for both projects, coordinated the design and procurement and managed construction.
“ChicagoCAC is the City’s only not-for-profit organization that coordinates the efforts of child protection staff, law enforcement professionals, family advocates, medical experts and mental health clinicians under one roof,” Felicia S. Davis, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission said. “It was an honor for the PBC to construct such a visually stimulating facility that assists in supporting children and their families as they begin the healing process.”
The expansion doubles the center’s capacity to provide mental health services for children who are sexually abused, adds dedicated space for professional and community trainings, improves the quality and number of child- and family-friendly areas for clients and ensures that the physical environment of the center is trauma-informed and conducive to collaboration among members of the center’s co-located, multi-disciplinary teams.
In addition to the non-profit’s 60-member staff, the building is home to experts from the Chicago Police Department, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Cook County Health and Hospitals System. Each year, center staff responds to nearly 2,000 reports of child sexual and physical abuse.
About the center:
In 2001, ChicagoCAC opened the doors of its 24,000-square-foot facility, designed by Stanley Tigerman. In spring 2015, the center opened a new addition designed by Holabird & Root, incorporating elements of the original design, while also offering a fresh interpretation of the facility’s purpose as a collaborative, child-centered environment. Further, the expansion is expected to attain LEED Gold certification, based on green design and construction features. In June, PBC was honored with a Chicago Building Congress 2016 Merit Award for the project.
About Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center:
Founded by Mayor Daley in 1998, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and its partners are the city’s front-line responders to reports of child sexual abuse, as well as reports of physical abuse of children under age 3. Learn more by visiting ChicagoCAC.org.
About the Public Building Commission:
The Public Building Commission of Chicago manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies. Mayor Rahm Emanuel serves as the PBC’s chairman. Felicia S. Davis serves as the Executive Director of the PBC. Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at www.pbcchicago.com. You can also follow the Public Building Commission of Chicago on Twitter: @PBCChi and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PublicBuildingCommissionofChicago
(Chicago) – On August 4, 2016, the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) will join Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) at the new addition to their facility, 1240 S. Damen, for the Center’s15th anniversary celebration of being front-line… Read More