If you suspect abuse, please call 855-503-7233. For emergencies, dial 911.

Amani Child Abuse Assessment Center for Columbia County

July 2024 Newsletter

From the Deputy Director's Desk:

Summer is in full swing! Bring on the ice cream, fireworks, swimming, sun and fun!

But sometimes summer means sadness and fear to a child in an abusive home or unable to access a safe adult. While children are out of school this summer, please remain observant of the kids in your life and those that you’re around. Reporting suspected child abuse can feel uncomfortable, but it is important to remember that the CDC indicates that 1 in 7 children are abused, and this number is suspected to be low because many cases go unreported.

As safe adults, we can bear some discomfort to make sure that children don’t fall through the cracks and that the child who is being abused gets help. You might question if you’re imagining things or wonder if what a child says is really “true”. Just remember that you don’t bear the burden of making that determination. That’s why the Amani Center exists…to provide children with a safe place to tell their story ONCE. That story and experience could be the most difficult they’ve encountered in their life. It could be a legitimate case of abuse, neglect, witness to violence, exposure to drugs, or trafficking activities. It could also be a misunderstanding of cultural norms, lack of parenting skills, under-resourced homes or other explainable situations that don’t warrant further investigation or charges…but all of which WOULD benefit from referrals to support and resources that Victim Advocates provide for all Amani Center clients.

And guess what? YOU don’t even have to decide where that child’s story goes. You just have to decide to make the call. A report of suspected abuse doesn’t always lead to law enforcement or child protective services getting further involved or bringing charges, it doesn’t always mean children get taken away from families, it doesn’t always end in parents fighting for their rights to keep their kids. Sometimes it doesn’t even mean a concern for child maltreatment. But it CAN lead to a family receiving health care, housing support, food security, or other necessary resources that help create a safe and stable environment for a child to thrive in. It can also mean that if something terrible is happening in a child’s life, that they are able to get care, justice and safety.

While kids are out of school…be the safe adult they can depend on to make a difference in their lives and situations. Make the call to 855-503-SAFE (7233) to report suspected child abuse. #ItsYourBusiness

For our kids,

 Beth Pulito, Deputy Director

What's New?

Coming up this month on our socials, we will feature another installment of our “Voices of Amani” series. “Voices of Amani” shares actual anonymous responses from children and parents who have received services at the Center. These responses are collected from surveys that help us to better understand the experiences of the families we serve, so that we may find any areas of improvement.

 

It is a privilege to receive feedback from children and parents visiting the Center, and we appreciate the opportunity to gain insight into what we can do to make their time with us as comfortable as possible. If you would like to support us in our continued efforts to make the Center a warm and welcoming place, check out our Amazon Wish List of frequently used items and snacks.

July Spotlight:

July in Columbia County means it’s fair season, and the Amani Center team can’t wait to see you there! In partnership with Wauna Credit Union, we are pleased to announce a very special free event taking place at this year’s Columbia County Fair & Rodeo: The Teddy Bear Picnic.

The Teddy Bear Picnic is set for Thursday, July 18th and welcomes all kids ages 3-10. A free picnic lunch, craft and activity are provided. Families are asked to register at 10:00 a.m. at the Gazebo for the picnic taking place on the Pavilion Stage at 11:30 a.m. Our generous sponsor Wauna Credit Union is helping to provide food, materials and a team of volunteers to make this event possible. Participation is limited to the first 90 registrants.

Also, the Amani Center will be back with a booth at the fair this year for the first time in several years. We are partnering with other local non-profit organizations to share our booth space during the week of the fair, July 17th-21st. Stop by our booth for a chance to win prizes and learn how we and our non-profit partners are working to make a positive impact on our community.

Partner schedule:

Wednesday, 7/17: Youth Era

Thursday, 7/18: Amani Center

Friday, 7/19: Columbia Sexual Assault Response Network

Saturday, 7/20: Riverside Community Outreach

Sunday, 7/21: SAFE of Columbia County

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, July 18th – FREE Teddy Bear Picnic at the Columbia County Fair & Rodeo

Saturday, September 14th – Hullabaloo Dinner

The Amani Center’s annual Hullabaloo Dinner is back again this fall at Grabhorn Farm in Scappoose. This special fundraising event offers an evening of delicious food, exceptional entertainment, auctions, raffles and more! Tables are available now for purchase, with a variety of sponsorship options. Visit the Amani Center website to learn more or contact Monica Rush to reserve your table today.