The mission of the Child Abuse Network (CAN) is to provide collaborative intervention services to child abuse victims, so that they are encouraged to embrace a future driven by hope. CAN serves as the coordinator for the multiple agencies that interact with children of reported child abuse. The result is a collaborative and non-duplicated inter-agency approach to investigate abuse and protect children in crisis.

A recent conversation between Child Protection Coalition staff and Barbara Findeiss, CAN’s Executive Director, provided further insight regarding why the agency exists and the difference they make in our community. Here is what she shared.

CPC: What are the challenges you face within the child welfare system in Tulsa?

As part of Tulsa County’s child abuse response system, CAN’s primary challenge is in serving the high volume of children in need of CAN’s services.

CPC: What do you feel are the positive impacts you make on kids’ lives in our community?

CAN helps to reduce the trauma that a child abuse investigation can pose for a child. By connecting with children through a child-focused environment where they feel safe enough to share experiences, CAN is able to help children begin to understand that they matter and that they are not alone. CAN’s brief time with a child is intentionally focused on helping them begin the transition from hurt to healing.

CPC: What is the one thing you would like the public to know about the work you do?

Although we may see “sad” things at CAN, it is a positive and uplifting place for children as well as protecting family members and staff. In one appointment, the negative impact of abuse can transform into relief and hope. CAN provides the possibilities of new beginnings.

CPC: Why do you feel it is important for your agency to be involved in the Child Protection Coalition?

CAN’s philosophy statement sums it up:  Child abuse damages our community’s most vulnerable citizens, and often has generational implications. In the context of violence, child abuse is a public health problem that presents complex social and moral dilemmas concerning its cause, effect and remedy. Addressing child abuse requires a comprehensive plan with multiple, coordinated strategies.

To learn more about CAN and how you can help the agency accomplish their mission, visit their website today.

CAN Team Representatives (Executive Director Barbara Findeiss - front row, center)

CAN Team Representatives (Executive Director Barbara Findeiss – front row, center)

The Child Protection Coalition welcomes new Executive Director, Nellie Kelly! Kelly joined the CPC team on October 24, 2016.

Kelly has 14 years of experience serving Tulsa nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, American Heart Association and Transitional Living Centers of Oklahoma. Before coming to the Coalition, she worked as marketing director and waiting child coordinator for Dillon International, a nonprofit international adoption agency.

Kelly’s interest in helping children and families began in 1999 when, while working as a reporter at the Tulsa World, she became a foster parent for the Department of Human Services. She continued fostering until the fall of 2015, when her fourth adoption was finalized.

Kelly is committed to working with community partners so that abused and neglected children receive the protection, justice and healing they deserve.

Read Kelly’s introduction letter to Coalition members and friends by CLICKING HERE.