The money we receive from donors is unrestricted, meaning that we can allocate those funds with intention and serve those who need it most. However, on the state level, efforts to properly fund our work over the last 30 years have resulted in various pockets of money, all requiring separate administrators in an inefficient, time-consuming manner. This old funding model added confusion to our advocacy efforts and posed unnecessary burdens to our member Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs).

MACA’s mission is to pioneer the most promising, leading-edge ways to help victims of child abuse. Ensuring that every child in need receives a victim-centered, trauma-informed investigative response and provision of services is paramount.

After a five-year undertaking with the state legislature, we’ve streamlined these small pots of money into one funding line item within the Department of Public Health’s budget. We couldn’t have done this without the unwavering guidance and support of Chairman Michael Rodrigues and his fantastic staff. Thanks to them, many administrative burdens are no longer bearing down on our CACs, keeping their focus where it needs to be: on helping the children they serve.

To take a look at what all of this work looks like, check out our budget line item in the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget:

4510-0811         For grants to children’s advocacy centers, including those previously funded through item 4800-0038 in prior fiscal years, and for services for child victims of sexual abuse and assault; provided, that not less than the amount allocated by the department of public health for each children’s advocacy center in fiscal year 2022 shall be expended again in fiscal year 2023; provided further, that the department shall allocate available funding, above the amounts required to maintain not less than the prior year funding levels for each center, among the 12 accredited centers in a manner to promote equity in the services available to child victims of sexual abuse, assault and trafficking across the commonwealth; provided further, that not less than $1,050,000 shall be expended for the support of the statewide delivery system of children’s advocacy centers with funding administered by the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance, Inc.; and provided further, that not later than January 31, 2023, the department shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on ways and means that shall include, but not be limited to: (i) the grants awarded to each center; (ii) the number of individuals served by each center receiving funding; and (iii) recommendations on how to improve the availability and delivery of services through these centers……………………………………………… $4,050,000.

To celebrate our gain in the state budget and their unwavering support of our work, we presented Senators Michael J. Rodrigues and Julian Cyr with the Child Champion Award during our national summit in Boston.

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