On April 10, 2019, Dr. Mary Carrasco, MD, MPH, Executive Director of A Child’s Place, PA, received the First Annual Legacy Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids Award, sponsored by Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance.
Dr. Carrasco started the first Child Advocacy Center in the state of Pennsylvania in 1988 in Allegheny County, and brought the program to A Child’s Place, PA in 1998. Dr. Carrasco has a list of accomplishments that have continued to aid children both locally and nationally.
Last year alone, 4,693 children were abused in Pennsylvania, with 40 killed by abuse. One in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they reach 18. Alarming statistics such as these founded Dr. Carrasco’s vision of opening up advocacy centers to better assist families in rural areas.
Over the years, A Child’s Place, PA has grown to five centers, all in different counties and all providing forensic interviews and medical examinations to those in need of services. The CAC also provides services to children in foster care and has expanded to provide Healthy Parenting Programs to caregivers looking for help. The CAC continues to build programs to fit the needs of the community under the leadership of Dr. Carrasco.
To honor such an accomplishment, the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, under the leadership of Angela Liddle (President and CEO), the Board of Directors, Marc Cherna (Director of Human Services), Cathy Utz (Deputy Secretary Department of Human Services), Gisele Fetterman (Second Lady Of Pennsylvania), Rich Fitzgerald (County Executive), Kristine Sorensen (KDKA and Mistress of Ceremonies), Kristen Glass (Jeremiah’s Place- Award Recipient), Kayla Repasky (Miss Pennsylvania 2018), CAPA students, and children from the Boys and Girls Club of Western PA were all in attendance, and many more.