We are delighted to introduce this issue’s hero – Judy Silver – who has been a CALICO supporter since 2013 (thank you to Keith and Susan Ortiz for introducing Judy to us!). Judy offers a unique perspective on CALICO due to her 40 years of experience working in the field of education. As someone who believes society will be judged based on how we treat our most vulnerable members, Judy is a fierce supporter of children, especially children who have experienced abuse.
Judy took the rare and welcome step of visiting CALICO’s office and found it offers a friendly, safe environment where parents get the support they need and children can talk about what happened without fear of judgment. Judy stated, “The child needs to understand they are not the cause of abuse and that they are valuable.”
Having served as both a teacher and principal in Union City, Fremont, and Oakland, Judy also understands the importance of reporting suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Teachers today are provided with training on their legal mandate to report child abuse, and many schools offer students counseling who have suffered abuse. But when Judy first started her career in education, teachers did not know how to support a child who disclosed abuse, or what to say and do when that child came back to school. In essence, teachers needed to be trained on how to assist a child victim to become a survivor.
Judy’s advice to CALICO is to contact school administrators throughout Alameda County and let them know about the many services CALICO offers, including trainings for teachers and staff. By reaching out, CALICO can help teachers understand that they can do more than simply call the child-abuse hotline. They can learn how to best handle disclosures of abuse and how to emotionally support an abused child in the classroom. CALICO has the same vision for working with schools. In 2014, we trained 166 parents, teachers and administrators. This year CALICO plans to offer more trainings in schools and has reached out to over 20 schools through Alameda County.
Thank you Judy for your generous support of CALICO and many years serving children in the Bay Area!