Describe the mission of Ray of Hope.
Ray of Hope Advocacy Center is a nationally accredited, 501(3)3 organization, focused on providing healing, hope and help to victims of child abuse and their families. Our mission is to facilitate a coordinated, community response and to provide hope and support to children and families impacted by abuse.
Explain the origins of Ray of Hope. How did it start?
Ray of Hope was started by a group of professionals that recognized a need for collaboration when intervening in cases of child abuse and neglect. In 2005, Ray of Hope opened its doors to serve children and families in Washington, Nowata and Osage Counties.
What happens at Ray of Hope?
We provide a neutral environment for forensic interviews, medical exams, advocacy services in a way that is child friendly, culturally sensitive and safe. We also provide professional and community training, including the Stewards of Children prevention program. All Ray of Hope services are provided to victims and families without cost.
On average, how many child abuse cases does Ray of Hope receive a year? How does Washington County compare to the rest of Oklahoma?
Since we opened our doors in 2005, we’ve provided direct services to over 1500 children. This number doesn’t represent all of the abuse and neglect cases in our community, but rather, some of the most serious ones including severe physical abuse, sexual abuse and child witnesses to violence.
Finally, what are some of your favorite aspects about the upcoming h’ART of Child event?
One of the things that we love most about h’ART of a Child is its focus on positive family interaction. We can’t think of a better way to bring awareness to Child Abuse Prevention Month each year than to encourage families to spend some time together, having fun!