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CHILDREN’S FUND RECEIVES SUPPORT FOR ABUSED AND FOSTER CHILDREN

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians provides funding for the Resiliency Institute for Childhood Adversity (RICA) —expands Children’s Assessment Center




SAN BERNARDINO, California (Wednesday, January 12, 2022) –The Resiliency Institute for Childhood Adversity (RICA), an expansion of the Children’s Assessment Center (CAC), recently received substantial financial support from local nonprofit, Children’s Fund, through a $1 million grant from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.


The new institute, RICA, was created to expand services provided to children who have experienced trauma within our community.


The expansion includes the new Resiliency Clinic which will provide on-going trauma-informed medical and mental health services to youth ages 0-21. The clinic will provide holistic care to victims of abuse, as well as children throughout the foster care system. The Institute incorporates various educational rotations for professional students within Loma Linda University and other local programs.


In 1994, the CAC opened, in partnership with San Bernardino County, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, Children’s Fund, and other local partners, to provide comprehensive forensic services to child victims of abuse or maltreatment. The CAC is also active in providing leadership training in identifying, treating, preventing, and educating about child abuse throughout San Bernardino County.

For over 25 years, the CAC has provided forensic medical services, forensic interviewing, and mental health services to children during the investigation of child abuse. The new RICA will expand these services.


“Children that have experienced abuse and neglect have faced significant challenges that can jeopardize their future success as adults. They can, however, learn to cope with, adapt to, and recover from these challenges,” explains Dr. Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, the president and CEO of Children’s Fund. “This grant from the Tribe provides a pathway for these youth to develop resilience through the coordinated continuum of services that will be provided.”

Children living in poverty represent a particularly vulnerable population. Rates of child abuse and neglect are five times higher for children in families with low socioeconomic status. In San Bernardino County, recent statistics (2019) show that between 23-26% of children live at or below the federal poverty threshold of $26,500 for a family/household of four.


For these reasons, it was clear to Dr. Amy Young, Medical Director of the Children's Assessment Center, that more needed to be done for the most vulnerable children.


Currently, the CAC provides time-limited services to children suspected of child abuse. Young explains, “the RICA was established in 2018, then funded by a grant from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in 2021, in order to expand who is served and allow the children needing it to be treated on a long-term basis.” RICA’s objective is to collaborate with like-minded nonprofits and community partners to offer a “cradle to career” model for preventing, intervening, and stabilizing child abuse victims.


“With specialized personnel, the Children’s Assessment Center can move toward long term stability and the capacity to treat more than 3,000 children each year,” says Ken Ramirez, Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. “This three-year grant will support RICA’s effort to provide holistic care to victims of abuse as well as children throughout the foster care system. We are pleased to continue supporting this worthwhile effort.”


Services rolling out over the next three years are medical assessments and treatments, developmental and nutritional assessments, dental, hearing and vision screenings, vaccinations, mental health screening and treatment, evaluations for speech and physical therapy, plus educational advocacy, scholarship, and mentorship.


“The San Manuel Tribe of Mission Indians’ grant is an investment in the future of children that have experienced trauma,” says Pinedo. “We are proud to partner with the Tribe to provide access to all of the resources and tools needed to create a bright future for every child that has experienced poverty, abuse, and neglect.”


The Children's Assessment Center (CAC) opened in 1994, in partnership between the County of San Bernardino, Loma Linda University Children's Hospital and Children's Fund to provide comprehensive services to child victims of maltreatment. For more information, visit www.cacsbc.com.


Founded in 1986 by the Honorable Patrick Morris, the late Jack H. Brown, and Co-founder A. Gary Anderson, Children’s Fund is a nonprofit whose mission is giving our vulnerable children support, opportunity, and hope by breaking destructive cycles through community partnerships.


Last year, Children’s Fund provided more than 110,000 services to children in need in San Bernardino County and since its inception has facilitated over 1.75 million points of service to children and families. For more information on Children’s Fund or to learn how you can give a child hope for brighter tomorrows, go to www.childrensfund.org or call 909.379.0000.

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