Clackamas County organization hosts its signature event

Wednesday’s signature Children's Center event will allow community members throughout the region to unite on behalf of government agencies underfunding prevention of abused and neglected children.

The Children’s Center was founded in 2002 and is Clackamas County's sole agency providing medical assessments, forensic interviews and family support services to children who are suspected victims of child abuse and neglect.

Executive Director Barbara Peschiera noted that the organization gets about 20 percent of its operating budget from the county, 17 percent from the state, 5 percent from a federal grant, 1 percent from insurance reimbursement and more than 50 percent from private donations.

Since Peschiera joined the organization last July, its board of directors has increased from 12 to 16, eight of whom are new faces. Board members helped staff develop a four-year strategic plan that’s “really about preserving quality, having the resources to meet the growing needs, outreach to underserved populations and adequate funding,” she said.

Seeing that “the work that we do is not being valued by public agencies or insurance companies,” Peschiera testified in front of the state’s Ways and Means Committee.

Citing a study published by the Cambridge University Press, “The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease: The Hidden Epidemic,” she emphasized the importance of preventing child abuse and identifying it early in children’s lives.

“Children are resilient, and what they found is that if mom goes to jail, and dad steps up and is loving, then they’re probably going to be OK,” she said. “But if one thing happens, then it’s much more likely that another instance of abuse will occur for that child without intervention.”

The Children's Center will host its sixth-annual Champions for Children Luncheon starting at 11 a.m. at The Oregon Golf Club, 25700 S.W. Pete's Mountain Road, West Linn. For more information, contact Tracy Cramer, 503-655-7725; by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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