My wholehearted support for CALICO only grows, as I am thankful for their great work in reducing/eliminating any further trauma to abused children. CALICO is part of a team that puts kids first, with protection and stability as the primary mission.
—Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney
Alameda County District Attorney's Office
What happened to my son was a parent’s worst nightmare. However, our experience at CALICO was nothing but positive. I am thankful to both the interviewer and the Family Resource Specialist for making us both feel so comfortable.
—Mother who utilized CALICO’s services
CALICO serves all families in Alameda County, regardless of their race, ethnicity, and country of origin or language spoken.
CALICO treats all persons with respect, dignity and fairness. CALICO and the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) provides services to toddlers, children, youth, adults with developmental disabilities and their families regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status or any other cultural descriptors. CALICO ensures all children and families feel welcomed and acknowledged by staff and MDT members, regardless of their appearance, background or beliefs. CALICO services are provided free of charge. No victim referred to CALICO by the MDT will be denied services based on inability to pay.
CALICO provides services that incorporate cultural sensitivity, humility, and competence. CALICO facilities are fully available to anyone in Alameda County and are accessible and smoke-free. CALICO décor, print materials and toys reflect the diversity of its clients; for example, dolls represent a variety of skin tones, posters and bulletin boards reflect many cultures, and informational handouts are provided in multiple languages including Spanish.
CALICO recognizes that one can never fully master the culture of another but having an understanding of various cultures, recognizing their beliefs, languages, heritage, and history can help process what a family may be experiencing. CALICO appreciates the importance of integrating cultural humility and competency in its work in order to better serve the children and families within its community. CALICO staff is required to attend cultural sensitivity trainings and be knowledgeable of current pertinent research. CALICO also informs MDT members about training opportunities related to culture and diversity and periodically distributes to the team relevant articles and information.
CALICO is committed to recruiting, hiring and maintaining professional staff, volunteers and a Board of Directors that reflect the demographics of the families served. CALICO’s Board of Directors adopted the following anti-discrimination policy in 2009: “CALICO shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, familial status, disability, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status.”
While the discussions that take place at CALICO concern difficult situations, the atmosphere is one of hope. Children walk away with a book, stuffed animal and blanket, feeling safe and protected. Caregivers leave equipped with tools to guide the whole family towards healing. By checking in after the interview and through follow-up conversations, we can report the following:
Over 75% of children report a positive or neutral experience answering the interviewer's questions
Almost 90% of children report they feel positive or neutral about the interviewing room
Over half of families report that their child enrolled in counseling within approximately six weeks following their visit to CALICO
Close to 90% of caregivers feel their experience at CALICO is positive
CALICO is the only children's advocacy center in the county. If CALICO did not exist, abuse victims would be forced to tell their accounts of abuse in uncomfortable and unsuitable environments. They would have to answer more questions asked by people not trained to talk to children and victims with special needs. As a result, evidence would be lost, many offenders would not be prosecuted, and families would lose a key opportunity to connect with the services they need to heal.