The Southeast Alaska Family Evaluation Child Advocacy Center on Saturday held its first Family Day at the Park at Dimond Park Field House. There were booths from several youth-serving organizations and agencies from within the community as well as child-friendly activities such as capture the flag, corn hole, bouncy house, as well as free food.
The SAFE Child Advocacy Center is a program within the Catholic Community Service, as well as being partnered with the Juneau Police Department and several other agencies in the community, all working together to care for abused children. Erin Youngstrom with the Catholic Community Service said much of SAFE’s mission is working closely with other agencies to provide outreach to the public.
“The SAFE Child Advocacy Center works with children and families who have gone through suspected cases of child abuse and a part of the SAFE Child Advocacy’s mission is childhood abuse prevention, which requires a lot of outreach and education to the public, one of those being creating positive childhood experiences,” said Youngstrom said. “All it takes is one positive, caring adult to make a difference in a child’s life.”
Families had the chance to meet youth-serving organizations like Zach Gordon Youth Center, Juneau Public Libraries, Glacier Swim Club, Girl Scouts of Alaska – Juneau, Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary, the TCentral Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska among others.
Rikki DuBois, Preventive Education Specialist for SAFE Child Advocacy Center said the focus of the event was to create a fun and safe space for families with their children to not only have fun but also educate themselves on the resources accessible to them.
“We have resources available, prevention education is something that we do, educating the community, we’re looking to reach average parents and adults in the community to engage them in efforts to prevent child abuse,” DuBois said. “We wanted to create an opportunity to provide fun and positive interactions between parents and children and then also provide other agencies within the community an opportunity to provide education about their particular programs, so helping connect families to the resources that exist in our community while also having a good time was exactly what we were looking for.”