United Way of Southern Chautauqua County invests in Four Strategic Areas of Impact in our small community. They invest in Academic Success, Health & Independence, Ready Workforce, and Self-Sufficiency for every person and family. Needs change and times pass showing new challenges all the time. With volunteers, dedicated donors, and the dedicated community partner programs collaboratively working together, we are able to meet the needs of our community people and push for a brighter future. The Chautauqua County Child Advocacy program is one of the 28 Community Partners UWAYSCC invests in. They invest in CAP Trauma Counseling, which hosts a licensed mental health professional that provides compassionate and effective treatment helping youth and families reduce the negative impacts of trauma. Read Evei’s story:
I started coming to CAP (Child Advocacy Program) when I was 12 years old and just started foster care. I felt disoriented, unbalanced and out of control. I felt like I was always looking in a mirror and did not recognize the person in the reflection. CAP has helped me realize that my trauma was the reason for my thoughts and feelings. The staff at Cap has supported me through this process and taught me ways to cope with my trauma.
The building itself is a safe place for me.
I know I can not only do counseling, but I can take a nap or eat or just hang out if I need to. All the staff supports me and help me feel comfortable. I learned how to express myself and recognize that my past does not define me but that is a part of who I am and how I will be in the future. CAP has taught my school how to recognize and deal with my trauma. My whole family has also been impacted. My mother has recognized that the counseling program has helped me and has opened the door to face her own traumas and seek counseling help. The advocates all work extra hard to show that they care and go out of their way to find resources for college. I am now 18 years old and in my senior year. I plan to go to college and become a lawyer.
-- Evei B.
UWAYSCC 100 Years, 100 Stories blog submission by Beth Oakes, Executive Director, Chautauqua County Child Advocacy Program. CAP’s mission is to end child abuse in Chautauqua County. When abuse occurs, CAP coordinates a community response to bring healing, hope and justice to these children and families. For more about CAP visit capjustice.org