A limited number of child survivors of sexual trauma will have access to therapeutic services through a new partnership between the Firecracker Foundation
and St. Vincent Catholic Charities
. The services are free and available to children whose families would not otherwise be able to afford high-quality, consistent care.
"This is one more step in helping us make valuable services available to people who lack the financial resources," says Tamra Johnson, community relations and marketing director for the Lansing-based St. Vincent's. "We are looking to serve as many children as possible."
The program began January 1 and is already serving one client. St. Vincent's provides therapists with specialized skills for working with survivors of sexual trauma, while the Firecracker Foundation provides funding supported through community donations. Clients may be referred to St. Vincent's through the Firecracker Foundation, or may call St. Vincent's directly for information on how to access services.
National statistics reveal that one in three girls and one in six boys will experience sexual trauma before the age of 18. Of those children, many will be among the 25 percent of children who live in poverty in Michigan. Further statistics reported by the Firecracker Foundation indicate that the lifetime economic burden of child abuse is estimated to be about $124 billion for communities across the United States.
"We are excited to partner with a local organization that is an essential resource to so many in need," says Tashmica Torok, executive director of the Firecracker Foundation. "This collaboration will help us extend treatment and prevent the consequences of untreated trauma for some of the youngest survivors in the tri-county area."
Torok says donations from the community will be crucial to sustaining the services of the Firecracker Foundation and the partnership with St. Vincent's.
"Every little bit helps," says Torok. "We hope to raise $65,000 by the end of 2015."
To learn more about services and how to apply, call St. Vincent's at 517-323-4734 or visit the Firecracker Foundation here.
Source: Tamra Johnson, Community Relations and Marketing Director, St. Vincent Catholic Charities
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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