By Brie Franklin Akins, Executive Director & CCASA Blogger
I recently traveled to Central Colorado to visit several CCASA member programs. Since I am new to Colorado, it was a great experience to not only meet our members but also to familiarize myself with the geography and communities of my new state. I think it is so important that, as your coalition, CCASA staff have the opportunity to see what day-to-day life is like for our members. Although all of the CCASA staff has experience doing community-level work, it is good to be reminded of the critical work our members are doing and the struggles (and successes!) you all experience in your communities.
The programs I visited were doing such great things to support survivors and educate their communities. I was awestruck by how much you all are accomplishing, despite limited resources and small staff sizes. It is my intention for CCASA staff to make 2-3 trips a year to visit our members, so that we can better connect with you, understand your needs, and support the important work you are doing.
I heard over and over that programs would like assistance with connecting and coordinating with other responders in their communities, as well as information and training on topics like trauma-informed response and advocacy vs. therapy. We will use this information to inform our planning and programs moving forward. If you have other ideas for training topics, resources, or support that you would like to receive from CCASA, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 303.839.9999.
I also encourage you to check out and utilize our new Regional Training and Assistance Program (RTAP), which leverages victim/survivor advocates within Colorado communities in order to provide on-the-ground, in-person training and technical assistance to CCASA members. Our Regional Specialists can provide consultation on a specific issue or case, or facilitate CCASA-sponsored training for your organization or community. To find out more about RTAP and the Regional Specialists, visit https://www.ccasa.org/rtap/. You can contact a Regional Specialist directly, or contact the CCASA office and we’ll connect you with the most appropriate staff or specialist.
Thank you to the staff at Family Crisis Services in Cañon City, Alliance Against Domestic Abuse in Salida, Project Hope of Gunnison Valley in Gunnison, Tu Casa and San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center in Alamosa, and Advocates of Lake County in Leadville for taking the time to meet with me and share your experiences!