January 25, 2012
Delegate Lopez and Delegate Kilgore Urge the General Assembly
to Restore Child Advocacy Center Funding Across Virginia
(Richmond) – Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-49) and Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-1) today requested that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Resources restore funding for Child Advocacy Centers across Virginia. The proposed Biennial Budget would eliminate $931,000 each year in General Fund for these critical programs.
Child abuse is often hidden, may occur over time, and is usually preventable. In Virginia, a child is abused or neglected every 75 minutes, and every 14 days a child dies from such mistreatment.
- In 2010, 48,916 Virginia children were reported as possible victims of abuse and neglect. 6,234 of these were founded reports, which means that a review of the facts gathered during an investigation met the standard of evidence required in Virginia.
- Thirty-one percent of the children experiencing maltreatment were under the age of 4, and 73 percent were under the age of 12.
- The average number of instances of child abuse or neglect in Virginia is 3.4 per 1,000 children.
The Children’s Advocacy Centers across Virginia are child-focused, facility-based programs in which representatives from many disciplines - including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy, and child advocacy - work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about the investigation, treatment, management, and prosecution of child abuse cases.
Combining the professional wisdom and skill of a multidisciplinary team approach results in a more complete understanding of case issues and the most effective child and family focused system response possible.
“Child abuse or neglect is a tragedy with not only immediate, but also long-term consequences affecting children,” said Delegate Lopez. “The Child Advocacy Centers across Virginia put the needs of child victims first. They are wonderful resources for Virginia that do extraordinary work. I believe it is shortsighted to eliminate funding for these centers. We are not taking into account the long-term costs associated with individuals not being able to access this important program.”
“Our Child Advocacy Centers do great work,” added Delegate Kilgore. “I hope the budget committees in both houses work to restore this important funding.”
####Contact: Jason Stanford571.336.2147DelegateLopez@gmail.com
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