Warm Springs is about to take a big step in addressing child abuse prevention in their community.
Bend's KIDS ((Kids Intervention and Diagnostic Service) Center in Bend is dedicated to the prevention , evaluation and treatment of child abuse. Their mission will now be extending far beyond their walls.
The Warm Springs tribes will open a child advocacy center to address abuse in their community.
The tribal community worked closely with KIDS Center, the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office to develop the center.
"Warm Springs is opening only the second child advocacy center in the nation located on tribal lands," KIDS Center Executive Director Shelly Smith said Tuesday.
The opening is a big victory for tribal leaders, as well as the children of Warm Springs.
KIDS Center will continue to be a resource for the advocacy center in Bend. "We will continue to offer them education opportunities and support." Smith said.
KIDS Center recognizes child abuse as an epidemic in America, among all communities.
"One in four girls and one in six boys will potentially be sexually assaulted by age 18," Smith said. "That is just the facts. Tribal communities are no different."
KIDS Center has served children from Warm Springs since 1994. Those children will now be able to be served in the familiar environment of their own communities.
The opening ceremony and blessing for the new Warm Springs child advocacy center is planned for Monday, Nov. 5.