In 1989, the California state legislature passed The Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council Act
(the Act), declaring that “child abuse is one of the most tragic social and criminal justice issues of our time.
It found that victims of child abuse and their families face complex intervention systems involving many professionals and agencies; coordination between child protection agencies and professionals improves the response to victims and their families; and the prevention of child abuse requires the involvement of the entire community. The Act authorized the use of federal funds for county child abuse prevention programs and authorized counties to establish a Children’s Trust Fund with revenue from birth certificate fees. The Act specified that each county shall fund at least one Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC), using allocations from the county Children’s Trust Fund, to fulfill these requirements.
The primary role of CAPC is to coordinate the community’s
efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse.
CAPCs are encouraged to include representatives from a number of categories of professional and community agencies, including:
· Public child welfare services, including the county welfare or children’s services department, the probation department, and licensing agencies;
· The criminal justice system, including law enforcement, the office of the district attorney, the courts, and
· Prevention and treatment services, including medical and mental health, community-based social services,
and public and private schools; and
· Community representatives, including volunteers, civic organizations, and the faith-based community.
CAPCs play an important role in the community, fulfilling key functions such as:
· Provide a forum for interagency cooperation and coordination in the prevention, detection, treatment,
and legal processing of child abuse cases.
· Promote public awareness of abuse and neglect and the resources available.
· Encourage and facilitate training of professionals in detection, treatment, and prevention of child abuse
· Recommend improvements in services to families and victims.
· Encourage and facilitate community support for child abuse and neglect programs.
The Act states that CAPCs may form committees to carry out specific functions. In addition, CAPCs receiving funding under the Act are required to:
· Develop a protocol for interagency coordination and provide yearly reports to the county board of supervisors.
· Provide a local cash or in-kind match of 33-1/3 percent or a partial match of $1 for every $3 in grant funds.
Following the passage of the Act, the San Benito County Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 786, establishing the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Benito County to implement the goals and
objectives outlined in the Act, with funding from the county’s Children’s Trust Fund.
To ensure all children in San Benito County are safe, healthy, loved and have the opportunity to reach their full potential in life.
We do this by coordinating the community’s efforts to prevent and respond to child, family, and community violence.
All children are resilient, thriving and surrounded by a supportive, kind and loving community.
All families have the knowledge, skills, support and resources to raise happy, healthy children.
All organizations and policymakers prioritize the health, safety and well-being of all children in policy, funding and programmatic decisions.
All community members share the responsibility for making San Benito County an “Abuse-Free Zone” that is free from all forms of child, family and community violence.
CAPC of San Benito’s actions and efforts are guided by the following values and principles:
Compassion – We are empathetic and nonjudgmental in our response to any child or adult that has experienced or perpetrated abuse or violence.
Prevention – We prioritize and advocate for policies, programs and services that promote the health and well-being of children and families and prevent problems before they occur.
Honesty & Integrity – We are sincere in our intentions for the community, and we share and listen to diverse perspectives. We believe in always doing the right thing for the benefit of children in our community, even when it’s difficult or not required of us.
Perseverance – We are persistent and steadfast in our efforts to make positive changes in our community.
Collaboration & Partnerships – We are unified in our mission to end all forms of abuse and violence. We share our ideas, talents, and resources as we work together to achieve common goals.
Accountability – We seek input, listen, follow through on commitments, and share the responsibility for achieving the greater good.