Bylle McCulley

 

This post is from a speech by foster parent, Bylle McCulley, presented at the CAC’s 2017 Cherish a Child luncheon

I would like to share with you my personal experiences while receiving the services of the Children’s Advocacy Center.

10 years ago, my husband and I became foster parents here in Jackson County and we received children on an emergency placement.

Usually, our first stop was the CAC.

I was awe struck at how kind, gentle, and supportive the staff was, not only to the child, but also to me as the foster parent.

When I held a little girl’s hand while she was being examined, it required all the strength I could possible muster to say, “You can trust me. I’m not going to leave you.” Those reassurances had an impact, not only on the child, but also on me as a person.

I know from experience that putting kids back together again starts at the CAC.

We were able to adopt a special needs child from the foster care system.  He came to us when he was 17 months-old and he’s now 12.  During our 6-year journey, we received help first from the Children’s Advocacy Center, then Family Nurturing Center, Community Family Court, Jackson County Mental Health, and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program.  I will always be grateful for the guidance and direction they provided to my family during this stressful time.

The most effective response to abuse and neglect requires a collaborative approach, which includes: teachers, first responders, law enforcement, medical, Community Family Court, attorneys, judges, CASA, elected officials, foster parents, the faith community and all the community partners who so generously come along beside us.

The process starts with the CAC to identify, investigate and provide treatment.

Please donate to the Children’s Advocacy Center now and don’t put it off. We either pay now or we pay more later. It will cost more later in mental health issues, chronic diseases and possible even the involvement of the criminal justice system.  Join us. We we are always looking for community partners to plant a seed of healing for the abused children and teens of our community.