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St. Joseph’s Community Foundation awards funds to The Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris

St Joseph Community Foundation Grant 1-16-14The St. Joseph’s Community Foundation recently awarded The Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris a $22,500 grant for the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program.

The funding awarded by St. Joseph will pay the SANE Coordinator a part-time salary/retainer fee for the next three years.

The mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris is promote hope, healing and justice for child victims of crime in Lamar and Red River Counties

The CAC works to improve the fundamental physical, social and/or psychological well-being of all clients served by providing critical services to child victims of crime that helps reduce trauma and re-victimization and helps to ensure their safety and well-being.

CAC’s emphasize the coordination of investigation and intervention services bringing together professionals and agencies as a team to create a child-focused approach to child abuse cases.  Specialized medical evaluations and treatments are a critical part of this investigation/intervention/healing process.

A medical evaluation holds an important place in the multidisciplinary assessment of child abuse. An accurate history is essential in making the medical diagnosis and determining appropriate treatment of child abuse.

Because children learn early the helping role of doctors and nurses, they may disclose information to health care personnel that they might not share with investigators.

A SANE is a registered nurse who has been specifically trained to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault patients and who demonstrates competency in conducting a forensic medical exam and the ability to be an expert witness.

The CAC of Paris established a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program in 2004 in order to provide medical evaluations to clients at no cost.

Texas Office of the Attorney General Guidelines state that a SANE Program must have a Medical Director, typically a physician associated with the local hospital, and a SANE Coordinator who is typically an active SANE Nurse.

The SANE Coordinator is responsible for the day to day workings of the program and serves as a point of contact for SANEs, the hospitals, and community groups (Sexual Assault Response Team).

The nurse currently in the SANE Coordinator position has been with the CAC of Paris for over a year.  She has worked diligently with the Office of the Attorney General and with numerous advocacy centers, hospitals and medical providers for over 15 years to ensure that SANE programs are successful and legally sound.

The CAC board of directors and staff have found that it is important to keep a dedicated individual on board in order to maintain the SANE program.

“The CAC is extremely grateful to the St. Joseph’s Foundation for partnering with us to ensure that this critical service continues to be available to child victims in our community,” an official said.

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