The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southeastern Indiana has been nominated by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for a national award from the Council of State Community Development Agencies.

Kathleen Weissenberger, OCRA grant services director, nominated the center for the award that “recognizes state programs that have demonstrated, during a sustained period, positive results in improving the lives of lower income persons.” 

In the case of the CAC, which offers services to alleged victims of child abuse, all the children are considered low income persons for this funding source, according to Susan Craig, Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission executive director, who with Mary McCarty and staff, prepared the application for this grant. 

Sarah Brichto, CAC of SEI executive director is thrilled. “We’re really excited just to be considered by a state agency as a contender for this national award. It’s a real honor to our center and a tribute to the region that our children are important enough to want to ensure them the security, justice and healing that CAC services support.”

Aaron Negangard, CAC of SEI board of directors president and prosecutor for Dearborn and Ohio Counties, is also happy with this consideration, “We wanted to make sure our children are given the best services and opportunities possible, and our CAC has been working hard to deliver. We really hope to win this award, not only for the honor, but to help other areas in the nation understand the importance of CAC services.” 

The CAC of SEI primarily serves Dearborn, Decatur, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties. Over 1,800 children have been seen there since it began five years ago. The caseload has increased by almost 100 children each year and will probably reach 2,000 by the end of the year. 

The award decision will come later in the month and, according to Brichto, “We’re all crossing our fingers.”

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