Advocacy Network for Children will be wrapping presents at the Quincy Mall the week of December 11th through the 17th.  The dollars raised through this event will help with day-to-day operating costs of Advocacy Network for Children which provides advocacy for abused and neglected children in nine of the counties in West Central Illinois.

The gift wrapping will take place outside of Bergner’s in the Quincy Mall.  Wrapping times are 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 5:00 pm on Sunday.  Free will donations will be accepted, and all supplies are provided.

Advocacy Network for Children provides two distinct programs for abused and neglected children in our community.  The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program recruits, trains and supervises volunteers to speak in the best interest of abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system. Last year, over 200 children were represented by CASA volunteers in Adams and McDonough Counties.

The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) provides a child-friendly, neutral environment where the child victims of sexual abuse or severe physical abuse and their non-offending family meet with law enforcement, Department of Children and Family Services and State’s Attorney for the purpose of investigation.  The Children’s Advocacy Center coordinates the investigation and provides a variety of advocacy and support to the child victim and non-offending family.  Children’s Advocacy Center staff helps bridge the gap between social services, law enforcement, and the court system. The Children’s Advocacy Center program served nearly 330 children in 2017.

In addition, Advocacy Network for Children provides a prevention program to children Pre-K through 5th grade.  “P.S. It’s My Body” teaches children safety strategies and is designed to decrease children’s risk of being abused.  The program includes a teacher and parent component that provides safety tips, strategies for talking to children about personal safety, and what to do if a child discloses abuse.

All services provided by Advocacy Network for Children are free and their staff is available 24/7.