LEWISTON — Androscoggin Bank’s MainStreet Foundation announced that Androscoggin Children’s Advocacy Center has been named the 2014 recipient of its annual “$25K for Kids” grant.
The award was presented at the MainStreet Foundation annual meeting Nov. 20. Focused on its mission of providing the three essentials of life – food, shelter and security – to as many children as possible, the $25K for Kids award was presented to ACAC to help it provide expanded support to children in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties who are victims of sexual abuse.
ACAC is a child-focused center based in Lewiston that promotes the healing of victims of sexual abuse. The ACAC is a place where children who have been abused can be interviewed by a specially trained forensic interviewer in a child-friendly, secure environment, rather than be interviewed multiple times by those who need information (law enforcement, DHHS, etc.). Its primary goal is to ensure that children are not further victimized by the intervention and legal systems designed to protect them.
With only one forensic interviewer currently on staff, ACAC interviewed 205 kids as of October 2014. The ACAC’s growth since its inception in 2005 shows an investment of the multi-disciplinary team approach to the investigation of child abuse cases and the recovery of child abuse victims and their families.
The $25K for Kids grant will allow ACAC to pursue advanced forensic interviewer training, add a multi-disciplinary trainer to its personnel and offset operating costs.
To learn more about Androscoggin Children’s Advocacy Center, visit acacme.org.
ACAC was one of three finalists for the award. My Place Teen Center in Westbrook, an after-school program for Greater Portland’s at-risk youth and New Beginnings, an emergency shelter for homeless youth in Lewiston, were the other two finalists.
This is the second year that MainStreet Foundation has awarded this annual grant. In 2013, the grant was awarded to the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s BackPack Program in Lewiston and Auburn schools.