If you could help Mississippi children in abusive situations have a streamlined experience to report trauma, would you? That’s a question the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi (CACM) asks often.
With a new endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, CACM hopes to support its mission to revolutionize child abuse – forever.
For over 20 years, CACM and its affiliated children’s advocacy centers have provided a community-based, child-friendly, and trauma-informed network to coordinate a multidisciplinary response to child maltreatment allegations. At a children’s advocacy center, children can speak to a forensic interviewer trained to understand child development, manage bias, and identify secondary trauma and other best practices for interviewing children.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, CACM is kickstarting the fund with a $50,000 matching challenge during the month of September.
“We are incredibly grateful to the family who has chosen to help provide the start-up funding for our new Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi Endowment Fund,” said Karla Tye, CACM’s Executive Director. “Establishing an endowment, this generous family is providing an avenue for every citizen to be a part of protecting children. By supporting CACM, you will join our vision of transforming Mississippi by defeating child abuse.”
Paired with the Endow Mississippi state tax credit for gifts to endowed funds at Mississippi community foundations, Tye says there is no better way to help support their mission.
“Like all gifts, the endowment will assist us in securing our mission to revolutionize Mississippi’s response to child abuse. Donors are a critically important part of making our work a reality. Establishing an endowment is a powerful tool and takes gift-giving one step further by creating a dependable and perpetual source of financial support. The matching gift challenges Mississippians to assist us in securing the full amount of the $50,000 gift. Paired with Endow Mississippi’s tax credit, your gift today will help children’s tomorrows be better than their yesterdays.”
As an endowment fund at a qualified community foundation in Mississippi, donors are eligible for a state tax credit equal to 25 percent of their gift through Endow Mississippi. This program offers an incentive to encourage individuals, businesses and organizations to make lasting investments in their local communities through charitable giving. The minimum qualifying gift is $1,000.
These gifts strengthen CACM’s ability to continue their work such as the Child Advocacy Training Institute. Located in Jackson, the Institute is utilized by Child Advocacy Studies programs for educational and real-world simulation purposes for law enforcement, social workers and others who might encounter abuse and neglect. The center accommodates multiple live scenarios simultaneously, which are modeled after real-life cases. This hands-on training enables professionals to recognize, react, and respond appropriately in circumstances where children are experiencing or may be at risk of child maltreatment. Tye said Mississippi is leading the national initiative to expand experiential learning opportunities for students related to the protection of children.
“CACM has developed statewide programs within the colleges and universities for students on effectively addressing child abuse and neglect in real-world applications. This program is instrumental in preparing students with the skills to properly identify and respond to child abuse cases as a part of their professional career,” she said. “We are creating a workforce far better prepared to address the complexities of child abuse.”
Support the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi here. Learn more and download an Endow Mississippi application here.