CARES Northwest celebrates 30 years
This fall marks three decades for CARES Northwest, one of the oldest and largest child abuse assessment centers in the nation. The program provides child abuse prevention, medical evaluation, and trauma therapy to more than 6,000 Multnomah and Washington county children each year.
The program is a collaborative effort among Multnomah and Washington counties, and four of the region’s leading health systems — Kaiser Permanente, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Providence Health & Services, and Legacy Health. CARES Northwest was the first program in Oregon to pair specially trained medical providers with child interviewers in a child-friendly setting to provide a comprehensive and coordinated response to allegations of child abuse.
“Our team works tirelessly to promote children’s health and safety, and is proud of our public/private partnership dedicated to stopping child abuse,” said Kevin Dowling, executive director at CARES Northwest. “In the past 30 years, we’ve provided medical evaluations to over 36,000 children, and strengthened our commitment to stopping child abuse by developing child abuse prevention and trauma therapy services.”
Coordinating experts in medicine, mental health, child protective services and law enforcement agencies, CARES Northwest ensures that children receive the needed professional services in one child-friendly location. This approach to intervention increases effectiveness, which minimizes trauma to the child, helps prevent future abuse and sets them on the road to healing.
CARES Northwest Timeline
1987: CARES founded with one examiner, one interviewer, one program manager and one volunteer
1989: 1,000th child assessed
1992: Multnomah County Family Support Team stationed at CARES
1994: CARES moved from Emanuel Hospital to a suite in 2800 N. Vancouver, with two exam rooms and two interview rooms
1995: CARES became CARES Northwest - merging with child abuse evaluation programs at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Kaiser Permanente and Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center
1997: Prevention education program launched with presentation on Shaken Baby Syndrome in a class for babysitting-age youth
1998: 10,000th child assessed - CARES Northwest plays a significant role in developing the Oregon child abuse interviewing guidelines
2002: Spanish interpreter joins staff. CARES Northwest adds on-call child abuse specialists to serve children in the Emergency Department
2006: 20,000th child assessed
2008: CARES Northwest awarded an Oregon Department of Justice grant to develop curriculum on interviewing children with disabilities and to train others on the curriculum
2009: Providence Health & Services becomes part of the CARES Northwest consortium
2012: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program begins
2013: 30,000th child assessed
2014: CARES Northwest's mission statement revised to include prevention and ongoing treatment as core services, along with medical evaluations
2015: Kevin Dowling elected to National Children's Alliance Board of Directors
2016: CARES Northwest expands to first floor of 2800 N. Vancouver; adds four therapy rooms and therapy client waiting room, has a total staff of 64 with 25 full-time and 39 part-time, hires first bilingual, bi-cultural trauma therapist and starts process to add second facility dog
2017: CARES Northwest celebrates 30 years
For media inquiries, contact Ashley Stanford Cone.