February 2015 Newsletter

Notable News

  • The National Children’s Alliance (the entity that accredits Children’s Advocacy Centers nationally) has awarded the Prevention Center funding to develop protocols and trainings to support Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) served at the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). We’re thrilled to be one of the four centers across the country to be awarded this competitive grant, and we look forward to working with our public partners to serve youth impacted by sex trafficking.
  • Building on the ideas shared at the 2014 Aspen ThinkXChange, our Executive Director Katie Albright recently joined Ascend/Aspen Institute and other experts across the country to explore two-generation solutions to toxic stress, including how frameworks like Strengthening Families and Protective Factors play a significant role. Hear Katie, an Ascend Fellow and Network partner, in conversation on this important topic here.
  • Last week, the Department on the Status of Women released its annual report on family violence in San Francisco. The San Francisco Examiner highlighted the report and the opening of our Children’s Advocacy Center as a key improvement allowing for “abused children to have a more caring place when dealing with the criminal investigations and healing from trauma.”

Did you know?

New California Law Takes Effect In 2015 For Child Abuse Victims

Sex Abuse Rights (SB 926) – Children who claim they’re victims of a sex crime have until their 40th birthday to file charges, up from their 28th birthday.

“SB926 finally takes into account the fact that many victims of childhood sexual abuse legitimately can take many, many years before they are ready to face their abuser – and the often brutal criminal legal process that goes along with prosecution. The law will only do good – it will help victims who were silenced by the trauma associated with child abuse by giving them the time they need to speak up, and it will still give an accused his or her day in court, still innocent until proven guilty.” – Chris Keane, Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer & former Prevention Center Board Member

Making A Difference: A Community Spotlight – Rachel Castillo

Rachel Castillo, a Bay Area Native, is a graduate of California State University East Bay (Hayward). She is a UX (User Experience) Design Producer at YouTube – and a TALK Line volunteer here at the Prevention Center.

Does YouTube encourage volunteerism?
YouTube is part of the Google family and very much so encourages volunteerism and giving back to the community.There’s an entire program devoted to this exactly called “Googlers Give.” They encourage not only working with the community, but they also match 100% of donations up to $6,000 per year for eligible non-profits. Also, for every hour of volunteerism, they’ll make a donation to the eligible non-profit, in this case, the Prevention Center.

How did you learn about the Prevention Center?
I learned about the Prevention Center in 2010 through a friend who used to work there. At the time, I was working for McGraw-Hill with her and spearheading our corporate volunteer efforts. Our first group activity was helping stuff and address letters for the end of year campaign. Then later in the year, we helped with the holiday party. I ended up leaving McGraw-Hill that following year in 2011, but was always so impressed by the work the Prevention Center did that I told myself I would return in the future to commit more time working with the folks here. In 2014, I told myself there was never going to be the “best” time to get involved, so might as well do it now – at which point I inquired about being a TALK Line volunteer.

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer work?
I enjoy being reminded of how much I LOVE the organization as a whole and the people here. The feeling of awe persists week after week at the personal commitment every person at the Prevention Center has to each other, to their volunteers, to all their clients, and to our community. Seeing everyone’s genuine enthusiasm and celebration of the smallest wins, despite their and the community’s struggles, fills my heart deeply and continues to inspire.

What would you say to others about giving back?
I would tell anyone thinking of volunteering at the Prevention Center that I highly encourage it. There has been no more fulfilling experience than to be on the TALK Line and being able to see my clients and the community grow. The deep gratitude and fulfillment I have from the Prevention Center has been invaluable in keeping me personally grounded and connected with my community.

Special thanks to the following foundations for supporting our work:

David Klein Jr. Fund, National Children’s Alliance, Negley Flinn Charitable Trust, Niantic Charitable Trust, Nordstrom, The San Francisco Foundation

January 2015 Newsletter

Happy January 2015! Because of you, the children of San Francisco have begun this year on a happier note. Whether you are a donor, volunteer, community partner, or staff member, your support of the Prevention Center last year helped to increase the number of children and families we were able to reach and allowed us to continue to serve as an essential anchor institution – leading strategic partnerships, delivering high-quality services, and raising awareness to prevent abuse. THANK YOU!

2014 was an incredible year at the Prevention Center! Our work transformed lives and helped to prevent abuse in San Francisco. Here are a few of the many highlights:

  • Doors are open and our long-anticipated Children’s Advocacy Center is now accredited and serving as a model of national best-practices. Nearly 250 children who have been abused were seen for forensic interviews and follow-up case management at the new Children’s Advocacy Center this past year.
  • We successfully completed the pilot phase of our Integrated Family Services program and have expanded to include 57 of our highest-risk families in this effective model of prevention. Families have shown 82% improvement in their protective factors to care for their children, including parent resiliency and children’s social-emotional competencies. Even in its early stages, this model is garnering national interest.
  • We helped prevent child sexual abuse through community awareness events at the San Francisco Giants Stadium and the Divisadero Touchless car wash and the education of 5,500 children in school programming on safe and unsafe touch.

We look forward to building on the successes of 2014 to ensure that all children experience a childhood free from abuse in 2015. There is still important work to be done. Thank you again for your friendship, dedication, and hard work to make this happen!

Making A Difference: A Community Spotlight – The ripple effect of one good deed

It all started when Prevention Center staff organized a first-of-its-kind training for a group of multidisciplinary child abuse professionals at our Children’s Advocacy Center. The training on trauma-informed systems was geared to those who work on the front lines of child abuse and child-related trauma as well as everyone around them who touches the work. The training, led by Lynn Dolce of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, focused on how clients, caregivers, and our entire system can better handle toxic stress. The Department of Public Health has launched an entire initiative focused on creating a trauma-informed system of care across San Francisco and this training was a part of that innovative work.

At one point, Lynn told the group a story about a teen who came to her office – a big guy with a full gold grill on his teeth who was hardened by the life he had lived so far. As she sat rubbing a bit of lotion on her own hands, the teen asked if he could have some. As he sat quietly, rubbing his hands and inhaling the calming scent of lavender, he began to open up to her about some of the issues he was facing. This was his first interaction with the basic principles of trauma-informed systems and mindfulness. The teen and Lynn connected just a little bit better after that – a key first step. Before he left, he asked where he could find some of the lotion for himself.

At the training, 70+ participants, from police to district attorneys, nurses and doctors, mental health and social workers, finance, clerks, and IT, were asked to take some EO lotion and spend some healing time rubbing their hands with lotion. This group was similarly moved. The room settled and everyone began to relax.

This sparked an idea: one of our staff members reached out to EO and shared the amazing story. Susan Griffin Black, co-founder of EO products, was thrilled and offered to donate what can only be described as a “bathtub full” of lotion to be used in future trainings and by those working on the front lines of child abuse.

The story made its way across the country to Washington, D.C. where the trainer’s boss, Ken Epstein, head of children’s behavioral health for San Francisco, was in an important meeting working on “one of those impossible, intractable systems problems and everyone was exhausted.” When he checked his phone and saw the story, he interrupted the meeting and said, “I just have to tell you this story because it’s so great and because it’s a sign that teaching about trauma-informed systems and mindfulness is so powerful  and good work leads to more great work.”

Did you know?

In 2014, 754 new donors and seven new foundations stepped up to support our innovative programming keeping kids safe from abuse. Last month alone, we received generous support from the following foundations: 

Bella Vista Foundation, Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation, David B. Gold Foundation, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, George F. Jewett Foundation, Maverick Capital Foundation, Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Metta Fund, George H. Sandy Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Yerba Buena Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation

CAC: Where Harm Stops and Hope and Healing Begin

100% Committed

Enabling Parents

Kids’ Turn is now a program of the Prevention Center

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to announce our merger with Kids’ Turn, which is now a program of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center! Since 1988, Kids’ Turn has helped thousands of children throughout the Bay Area understand and cope with the loss, anger and fear that often accompany separation or divorce. Kids’ Turn trainings and curriculum have been used by thousands of parents who have learned about ways to support their children during this challenge in their lives. With Kids’ Turn as part of our programming, we are able to provide even stronger and more comprehensive support to families in crisis.

The Prevention Center envisions a community where one hundred percent of our children are safe and protected. We work with families every day to build resiliency and overall family strength and wellness. Our intensive services for families with multiple risk factors for abuse offer parents essential skills and education and support children in their own social and emotional growth.

Kids’ Turn brings an established curriculum – including a rich online component – to reach a breadth of families both in person and online. Our long-term goal is to reach at-risk children and families, and create a replicable model that emphasizes children’s social and emotional learning and boosts families’ protective factors. We are excited to integrate Kids’ Turn into our programming to help insure that all of our families benefit from this innovative method of learning and skill-building.

Together, the Prevention Center and Kids’ Turn have over 65 years of experience helping children and families navigate adversity. We are very excited for our future together and the powerful impact our merger will have on our community!

Very truly yours,

Katie Albright
Executive Director, San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center

New Children’s Advocacy Center of San Francisco Puts Children on Fastest Path Toward Healing After Abuse!

The San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center (Prevention Center), whose mission is to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact, today announced the grand opening of the Children’s Advocacy Center, which will provide a holistic, one-stop experience for children who have suffered from abuse. Attorney General Kamala Harris and San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee will be on hand to make a statement and dedicate the building with added support and attendance from Supervisor Cohen, City Attorney Herrera and District Attorney Gascón.

With the opening of the new facility, located on 3rd Street in the Bayview neighborhood, the Children’s Advocacy Center provides perhaps the single most important service for a child in the immediate aftermath of abuse; the relief of telling a difficult story just once, to a highly trained and caring professional, in a child-friendly and safe building. Previously, children who experienced the trauma of physical and sexual abuse could be asked to tell their story multiple times to multiple professionals — such as a police officer, a caseworker, and a pediatrician — which can be a traumatic experience. The new space was designed from the ground up to be a comforting environment where children and their families are immediately connected to the critical support services they need to begin to heal.

“The new Children Advocacy Center provides a central location that puts children first, simplifies the process for families who have suffered, and most importantly, starts the path to healing as soon as they walk through the door,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “We must make sure children who have suffered abuse and trauma do not slip through the cracks of our City’s safety net services and that they receive the support they need.”

The collaborative, multidisciplinary Children’s Advocacy Center will serve over 300 children a year – or approximately 25 children per month – with increased capacity to serve 600 children annually. It also serves as headquarters for Prevention Center’s partners the California Pacific Medical Center’s Bayview Child Health Center and The Center For Youth Wellness, which provides long-term mental health support for children that have been seen at the Health Center. The three non-profit organizations have come together in a caring collaboration to provide high quality pediatric medical care, behavioral health services, case management, and a coordinated response to child abuse all under one roof.

“The opening of the Children’s Advocacy Center of San Francisco is the first milestone resulting from a five-year comprehensive campaign to raise nearly $20 Million in order to strengthen and launch key programming that will help prevent child abuse and nurture those who have been affected,” says Katie Albright, Executive Director of the Prevention Center. “Today marks a giant step ahead for our mission, our city and the families we serve.”

Funding for the new building was spearheaded by Tipping Point Community, as well as generous support from private donors and foundations. The new Children’s Advocacy Center is located at 3450 Third Street, Building 2, Suite 300 in San Francisco. Services will continue to be provided at the previous location within San Francisco General Hospital until operations are fully transitioned to the new location.

In addition to delivering services at the new Children’s Advocacy Center, the Prevention Center and its over one hundred trained clinical and nonprofit professional volunteers will continue to deliver programs to families from its current offices located at 1757 Waller Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. Families with questions can reach the Prevention Center at (415) 441-KIDS (5437).

For press inquiries please contact Kimberly Angell at (415) 471-7272 or email kim.angell at WishPR.com.

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Historic Firehouse Renovated: Enhancing Services to Keep San Francisco Kids Safe

The San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center (the Prevention Center), a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse in San Francisco, announced today the reopening of its Waller Street facility, which was recently renovated by Pankow Builders, Ltd. (Pankow) and the International Interior Design Association of Northern California (IIDA NC). The Prevention Center will reopen its doors for client services on Monday, October 21, 2013.

In recognition of the vital importance of protecting San Francisco’s children, Pankow and IIDA NC dedicated significant time and resources to upgrade the Prevention Center’s home, a former firehouse, built in 1895. Renovations will enable the Center to offer a safer, more inviting and accessible place for vulnerable children and families. Each year, the Prevention Center serves 15,000 parents, children and providers by offering one-on-one services, educating the community and building city-wide connections and partnerships.

Renovations to the Prevention Center include expanded reception and waiting room areas, improved client counseling rooms with sound-proof walls for greater privacy, a remodeled children’s therapeutic playroom and expanded staff work spaces. In addition, the remodel includes seismic remediation.


“The private/non-profit partnership represents the very best of San Francisco – the community coming together to help kids,” said Katie Albright, Executive Director of the Prevention Center. “We are so grateful to have our beloved firehouse renovated. Not only do our walls breathe new life, but we will be better able to continue to serve our clients and ensure that kids are safe.”

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White welcomed the remodel of the Waller Street firehouse and said, “We are thrilled to partner with the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center to keep our community safe. The renovations made to the historic firehouse maintain its long tradition of providing 24/7 services to protect our city’s children and families.”

Supervisor London Breed stated, “I am thrilled for the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center and the reopening of its historic building in the heart of Haight-Ashbury. This project shows what can happen when the community comes together to improve the lives of our most vulnerable residents.”

“When we learned of the Prevention Center’s need, we welcomed the opportunity to jump in,” said Scott Anderson, Pankow Regional Vice President for Northern California. “For Pankow, continuing to stay engaged with the community through contributions and volunteerism is a direct reflection of the company’s values. It’s a very important part of our business and our 50thanniversary celebration.”

“With great enthusiasm, IIDA NC welcomed the opportunity to support the Prevention Center project. IIDA NC is dedicated to enhancing the community through excellence in interior design. The renovation of the Prevention Center allowed our contributing members to help transform a historic building to better serve children and families,” said Terry de la Cuesta, IIDA NC Vice President of Philanthropy.

Download this Press Release