The Junior League of Wichita has donated $300,000 to the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County.
The donation, which was formally announced at City Hall Tuesday morning, will be used by center officials to build the training and education wing of their new state-of-the-art facility to help victims of child abuse. The wing will be named after the Junior League.
Therapy, education and medical services will be housed in the two-floor center, which will move into the former Lincoln Elementary School near Lincoln and Emporia. The renovations are set to begin in early 2015 and are expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Diana Schunn, Child Advocacy Center executive director.
“The gift and pledge[provides] education opportunities to professionals, community members, parents and caregivers,” Schunn said, “which we know is an essential piece in recognizing what happens behind closed doors and ending child abuse, neglect and sex trafficking in our community.”
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The Exploited and Missing Child Unit and Sedgwick CountyDistrict Attorney’s Office also will have offices in the center, which pulls together in one setting services for families and guardians of abused children, Schunn said.
“(Families) have to travel throughout the community,” she said. “Stop one, two or three might happen but they might not follow up that becomes very taxing.”
This is the third largest gift the Child Advocacy Center has received in its efforts to raise the $4.5 million needed for the project, Schunn said. It’s significant, she said, because reports of child abuse – specifically, sexual abuse – cases have been on the rise in Wichita.
“The challenge we see is that we have children who are suffering on a daily basis,” she said. “Those are the cases that we want to have an impact on.”
Contributing: Stan Finger of the Eagle