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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Child Abuse Network Puts Children First

By EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

SUPERHERO FUN: Brandi Moore, community relations manager for the Child Abuse Network, and board member Caleb Starr promote the nonprofit organization’s first-ever Superhero Challenge on March 30. The event will feature family-friendly activities in an effort to raise awareness of the organization’s efforts to care for abused children.


EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers


In the month of January, the Child Abuse Network (CAN) saw 270 children come through its doors, and we want all of them to walk out happier, says Brandi Moore, CAN community relations manager.

“We want to make sure the abuse is stopped and also help kids grow and get past this and have the life they deserve,” says CAN board member Caleb Starr.

However, due to time, space and resources, CAN is, at present, only equipped to treat one-third of children in abuse cases in Tulsa County, but Starr is confident that, as the community gains a greater awareness of the organization, citizens will respond in droves.

“Tulsa is one of the best philanthropic communities in the nation,” he says. “People in Tulsa love to give.”

In line with that hope, on March 30, CAN will host its first-ever Superhero Challenge at Postoak Lodge, 5323 W. 31st St. N., to encourage children and their families to spend a day of activity together and learn about the organization and its role in the community.

The day will feature, for children age 12 and under, the Sidekick Challenge, beginning at 2 p.m. The event is a half-mile run and obstacle course allowing participants to crawl, jump and slide. Parents can also participate with their children.
The Superhero Challenge, for children 13 years and older, will follow at 2:30 p.m.—a 1.8-mile run and obstacle course along the Postoak trails.

Event organizers are encouraging everyone to dress up as a superhero, says Moore, who originated the idea for the superhero theme. “Every time we talk about it, people get excited about it, saying, ‘My kids have superhero costumes and never take them off.’”

CAN began as a project in 1986 with the Junior League of Tulsa before becoming an official organization in 1988. “They didn’t like how, during abuse investigations, children were having to go through the interview process again and again, telling their story to different people,” says Moore. As a result, efforts began to bring multiple agencies under one roof.

CAN, at 2829 S. Sheridan Rd., serves as a co-location for the District Attorney, police department, department of human services and child abuse medical team.
For children to have to tell their story repeatedly only continues the trauma for the child, says Starr. In addition, the more times a child repeats a story, the more it can change and increase the difficulty in filing abuse charges, if necessary.

The concept of bringing all of the necessary agencies under one roof has set CAN apart in not just the state but worldwide. It is the only agency of its kind in Oklahoma and regularly draws national and international visitors. “We recently had people visiting from Indonesia,” says Moore. “They wanted to see our concept and how everything comes together.”

Registration for the Superhero Challenge begins at 1 p.m. on March 30 before the event kicks off at 2 p.m. For early registration visit earlysignup.com/superhero.
QuikTrip, H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust and George Kaiser Family Foundation are presenting sponsors with Tulsa’s Channel 8 as presenting media sponsor.

Additional sponsors include Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation; ONEOK, Inc.; AAON, Inc.; Adams Hall Wealth Advisors; Grant Thornton; J.P. Morgan; Tulsa Federal Credit Union; Williams; 918 CrossFit; SAPIEN Brand Experience; TulsaKids Magazine; Value News; This Land Press; Kids’ Directory; 97.5 KMOD; 106.1 The Twister; and Oklahoma Sports & Fitness.

Moore hopes that with the added spotlight on the organization, a greater number of individuals will learn about the prevalence of child abuse cases. “One in 25 kids in Tulsa county are involved in a child abuse investigation every year,” she says. “It’s very important people report abuse.” Visit childabusenetwork.org for additional information. To report a case of possible child abuse or neglect, call the Oklahoma Hotline at 800-522-3511.

Updated 02-25-2014

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