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Funds would help DuPage center for children

By Susan Frick Carlman , The Courier News

1461 days ago   Article ID# 647641
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Children's Advocacy Center

AURORA, ILLINOIS (The Courier News) - The people working toward a new home for the programs that lift DuPage children and their families out of some dark places saw a new glimmer of light last week.

County Board members agreed to put in a request for a $500,000 allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds to add to what is being set aside toward construction of a new home for the Children's Advocacy Center and DuPage Family Center.

The two facilities now operate in locations seen as less than ideal. The Advocacy Center is in a cramped and inefficient building on County Farm Road known as "the glass box" that used to house the county's transportation center. The Family Center, which provides mediation and other support services for families in which there has been a divorce, is in a rented space in downtown Wheaton.

A division of the DuPage County state's attorney's office, the Advocacy Center investigates and processes child sexual and severe physical abuse cases. Caseworkers use collaborative interviewing approaches designed to minimize additional trauma to the young victims.

County Board members acknowledged that if they're received, the CDBG funds will be added to the $300,000 line item in the annual county budget designated for the new center, which is expected to cost about $3 million. Officials hope to begin construction in about five years.

The budgeted funds are derived from the county's share of traffic fine revenues that are earmarked for children's programs.

Board member Dirk Enger questioned whether, in light of the ongoing budget allocation, it might be better to work toward grant support for low-income veterans and others who are economically disadvantaged and do not receive money from the county every year.

"I don't think it's fair," Enger said.

District 5 County Board member Jim Healy of Naperville, who serves on the board of the Friends of the Children's Center, noted that the board move simply cleared the way for the county to ask local communities to allocate a portion of their block grant funds. And he said the underserved would benefit from the money.

"The vast majority (of the centers' clients) meet the low-income guidelines for this program," he said.

Copyright 2014 The Courier News   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1461 days ago   Article ID# 647641

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