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tag line                           February, 2012 

I am so very lucky to find my dream job to end my career.  When my beloved husband, Bob Glatzer, died in October, 2010, I was the founding Executive Director (since 1988) of Spokane's accredited Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), Partners with Families & Children.  I had recruited Kari Grytdal six years earlier to be our Director of Operations; my succession plan was to recruit someone much younger than me to have a firm grip on the finances so there would be no hitch when I retired.  With the loss of my husband, I knew it was time already to move on, so I told my Board in December that I would leave by June, 2011. And was thrilled to turn over the responsibilities to Kari's capable hands.

I actually couldn't afford to retire yet, and spent the summer wondering whether I should do something altogether different or what?  I was thrilled when Maureen Fitzgerald took a position with the Western Regional CAC and opened this position as ED for the Washington state chapter of the National Children's Alliance. For me, the perfect job----continuing the brilliant CAC "movement," but at another level -- developing the resources for Washington state to deliver on our vision:

     "Every child in Washington state who has suffered from serious physical, sexual abuse and      neglect---serious enough to rise to the level of a crime---have access to the same high-quality professional intervention to diagnose the injury, begin the healing process for that individual child, and seek justice for the crime committed against her and him----thereby making our communities safer by holding offenders accountable.

Girl on SwingEighteen communities in Washington state have either an accredited or developing CAC, most of them built with the loving labor of their home communities:  two are affiliated with medical centers, six with prosecutor's offices, and ten with community action agencies, who have affiliated sexual assault/ domestic violence and/or child care/ ECEAP programs. 

We were fortunate to establish a funding source utilizing state revenue, but over 60% of the costs are borne by the local communities. That state revenue is now threatened by budget cuts in the state general fund, while we are still working to raise the resources for a truly comprehensive, integrated system of care that reaches every child, even in less populous areas that cannot support a full CAC. We are working closely with our multi-disciplinary team partners: law enforcement, Child Protective Services, medical, mental health services, victim advocacy, prosecutors, and social and health treatment providers to build culturally competent treatment for over 5,000 child victims of crime each year.

CAC Spotlight:  Tulalip Children's Advocacy Center
In order to get to know our Children's Advocacy Centers throughout Washington and give us all a sense of belonging and understanding, we are kicking off our CAC spotlight stories.  Our featured CACs will answer these questions: 
Tulalip CAC logo
1. How did you get started?
2. Where are you in the process?
3. What have been your successes
4. What are you struggling with?

Learn about the Tulalip Children's Advocacy Center here
Tulalip CAC outside Tulalip CAC lobby

Legislative Update
Great thanks to all of our friends and colleagues who have joined us in educating the state legislature about the value of our network of 12 accredited and 6 developing Children's Advocacy Centers in Washington state. The Governor's initial budget proposal called for elimination of the Boyedited$670,000 from the state general fund, an amount that covers about 30% of the costs for the investigations of 5,000 children. These children have experienced serious physical, sexual abuse or neglect that rises to the level of a crime.

We have offered to the policymakers to take a 10% cut to share the pain (though we appreciate that we would be unable to serve 515 of those children), but elimination is truly pound-foolish. A national study found that investigations in communities that do NOT have a CAC cost $1000 more; this is due to the coordination function CACs perform among the many stakeholders---law enforcement, CPS, mental health, medicine, advocacy, and other social and health services.

We ask who in our state is MORE vulnerable than these child victims of crime?
Thank you to all you do for this cause; it's a pleasure to continue to expand this work for our state's most vulnerable children.




Mary Ann Murphy
Mary Ann Murphy
Executive Director
Children's Advocacy Centers of Washington 

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Watch for the One with Courage media campaign in April 2012 for Child Abuse Prevention Month