The Center for Alexandria's Children

WISH LIST: $100: seasonal clothing for infants; $500: 8 multicultural newborn dolls (and accessories) for prevention programs; $1000: emergency fund for parents in crisis

Just one decade ago, services for Alexandria's abused and neglected children were fragmented: young victims had to repeat the stories of their abuse over and over, and many of their cases still did not make it to court. Today, when children step through the doors of The Center for Alexandria's Children, they can feel truly protected perhaps for the first time. At this child-friendly, one-stop location for investigation, treatment, and prevention, reporting abuse does not mean reliving it. The Center conducts joint interviews with Child Protective Services and detectives, offers on-site therapists for treatment and support, and provides family group conferencing and peer support groups. A multi-disciplinary team (drawn from child protection, law enforcement, and social and medical services) then tracks and reviews all cases to ensure that no child falls through the cracks. Equally dedicated to prevention, the Center partners with local organizations to offer family support and train youth-service workers to recognize (and swiftly respond to) signs of abuse. Alexandria's most vulnerable citizens need these doors to stay open.