On Thursday, April 12, Family & Children’s Center (FCC) will be a little bluer. It’s to signal that child abuse has no place in the community and to support April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Matty’s Place, a child advocacy center, is a place to put the child first and find out what really happened. Then, it helps the child and his or her family deal appropriately with perpetrators and stop the abuse from happening again. It provides a comfortable, child-friendly, home-like environment where a single, comprehensive investigative interview may occur in cases of alleged child abuse and neglect. Nationally, a report of child abuse takes place every 10 seconds.
Beginning at noon on Thursday, April 12, Family & Children’s Center and friends will be planting their Blue Kids in recognition of children reported for child abuse last year. This will take place at Family & Children’s Center, 601 Franklin Street, Winona.
The Child Advocacy Center is funded almost entirely through grants and donations. Matty’s Place is a memorial to Matthew Eappen, who was shaken to death by a caregiver in February 1997.
Founded in 1881, Family & Children’s Center is a regional, not-for-profit agency that has helped thousands of children, adults and families enjoy better tomorrows. The center provides a continuum of services designed to strengthen families and promote individual well-being, including child abuse/neglect prevention programs, alternative schools, community-based counseling, community support programs for people seeking recovery from severe mental illness, residential treatment options and several outreach programs.
Family & Children’s Center is nationally accredited. With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., and Winona, the center serves people throughout Western Wisconsin and Southeast Minnesota and has additional offices in Black River Falls, Wis.; Rochester, Minn.; Sparta, Wis.; and Viroqua, Wis.