Children’s Advocates Commemorate National Child Abuse Prevention Month

To commemorate April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, children’s advocates from organizations throughout the five county region recently placed 61 blue ribbons, each representing a child served by the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) the past year, on a tree at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. The annual event is designed to heighten community awareness of the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families.

Volunteers who helped place ribbons represented the Talbot County Sheriff's Office, Easton Police Department, Maryland State Police, Talbot County Department of Social Services, Talbot County State's Attorney's Office, Evolution Mental Health and Trauma Services, Talbot Community Connections, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at Easton, Kent County State's Attorney's Office, Kent County Children's Advocacy Center, Talbot County Department of Social Services Advisory Board, and Talbot County Children's Advocacy Center.

The CAC coordinates with local law enforcement and social services to offer comprehensive, multi-disciplinary responses to alleged incidences of child sexual and physical abuse. In partnership with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, the CAC provides noninvasive, forensic medical examinations in a secure location for cases in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. Talbot Community Connections (TCC), a nonprofit arm of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, has the mission to raise and distribute funds to answer unmet needs that are fundamental to the safety, security, health and well-being of Talbot County’s children and adults. These needs cross all economic levels. The funds raised provide help to abused children through the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) families in crisis, the unemployed and working poor, and disabled and frail elderly. TCC awards provided funds for respite care, prevention of evictions and utility disconnects, therapeutic activities for disabled foster care children, housing fuel, transportation, and a fatherhood program.

The CAC can be reached at 410-820-7141 or talbot.cac1@maryland.gov. More information is available at
www.talbotcac.org.

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Talbot Community Connections
410-770-5908
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A Look Back at a Difficult 2020 with Talbot County’s Social Services
April 7, 2021 by The Spy

Formal annual reports come and go all the time during “normal times.” The business of recording the highlights of a specific year is a long-standing tradition to document critical events for corporations and government agencies. But they are rarely on the top of anyone’s reading list, given these somewhat predictable narratives of jobs well done.

But as Talbot County slowly finds itself hopefully coming out of the worst aspects of the COVIC-19 pandemic, these straightforward accounts don’t do justice to the extraordinary pivots local governments made as the region shut down for most of the year.

And no other agency felt more of that burden than the County’s Department of Social Services. With sky-high unemployment, child care canceled, and significant spikes in mental illness, DSS had a full plate at a time when its regular plate was already full.

Given all that, the Spy reached out to DSS director Linda Webb and her colleague, Katie Pedersen, who heads up the County’s Children’s Advocacy Center, to talk about this very strange and sometimes painful year for many Talbot families.