CARES Institute opens center in Vineland

CARES Institute opens center in Vineland

by Daniel J. Kov, The Daily Journal

VINELAND - Recognizing a need for child abuse services in South Jersey, a partnership between the state and Rowan University has resulted in a new treatment center for abused youth on Sherman Avenue.

The university’s CARES (Child Abuse Research Education and Services) Institute will begin official operations after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday that was designed in part to raise awareness of child abuse in the region.

“The victims of child abuse and child sexual abuse are the children and their families that we see every day,” Thomas A. Cavalieri, dean of Rowan’s School of Osteopathic Medicine, said. “We may see them anywhere because this could affect anyone, any family in any community. It's often a hidden problem, but now there’s a place to go. Now there is a place where children and families could get life-changing help. Proper intervention makes a world of difference. It could mean a very difficult life versus a life of hope.”

With their main office in Camden County, officials at CARES said they have wanted to reach out to service the victims of child abuse from the rest of South Jersey, from the shore to the Pinelands and Cumberland’s rural communities.

“Thirty years ago there was no CARES and there was no statewide network of diagnostic treatment for abused children,” Cavalieri said. “It would have been difficult or impossible to access care for victims of abuse. Times have changed though thanks to this wonderful partnership.”

CARES co-founders Martin Finkel and Esther Deblinger, both doctors who trace their research and medicinal practice partnership back 27 years, thanked those in attendance for their various contributions to the institute, whether it be funding from the state for the satellite office or their physicians who help abuse victims.

The institute helps thousands of children each year recover from the trauma of sexual or physical abuse, violence and neglect.

“We’re now taking the scope of services that we provide in Stratford and we’re placing it here,” Finkel said of the Vineland office expansion. “It creates much more accessibility for the region.”

“It’s not surprising that we are here today trying to reach more children,” Deblinger said, “so that every child has the opportunity to receive the optimal services for the difficulties that they are suffering.”

The two co-founders said their institute is internationally recognized as a model of excellence in their specialized field of research and treatment.

The way the institute works, Finkel said, is the state — in its statutory ability to investigate child abuse through the Child Protection and Permanency agency (formerly DYFS) — refers the victims it finds over to CARES for treatment.

Finkel talked about the need in South Jersey.

“There are limited resources here obviously — there is no medical expertise in the region — so we’re bringing that expertise in terms of diagnosis and treatment right here so the kids and families don’t have to travel from Atlantic County or Cape May, so it’s much more convenient,” he said.

The satellite office will have a full-time physician on staff, Finkel said, and could expand to two in the future. Support staff and a training program for master’s level students are also available.

 

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Date Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 12:15
Source URL: The Daily Journal