The Wicomico Child Advocacy Center participated in a Junior Achievement Inspire event that involved 3,000 8th grade students from the Eastern Shore, meeting with prospective employers and academic institutions to help with future academic and career planning. There were approximately 150 exhibitors with interactive exchanges. The CAC offered a physical abuse scenario that encouraged students to role play and ask questions of the alleged maltreater or child victim. They also offered insights about self-care and asked students to describe how they practiced self-care.
They had a team of six, including two law enforcement detectives, two CPS workers/forensic interviewers, a family advocate, and the CAC coordinator. The CAC estimates that they interacted with 300-400 students based on tracking activity at the exhibit and giveaways. As noted by the coordinator, Cheryll Bissell, “There were a few bittersweet moments when students who were formerly seen/supported at the Wicomico CAC. There was no hesitancy by them in approaching, hugging, and engaging with the family advocate and CPS worker. Several of them publicly shared their thanks for the CAC and working with staff. One participated in the role play activity and the detective she interacted with was very impressed with the questions and insight she displayed.”
Note: caregivers and students signed photo releases.