Montco child advocacy project should be supported
The film crew that came to the Montgomery County Courthouse last week focused on a valuable program that helps the county’s most vulnerable residents when they become caught up in the difficult processes of court.
The filming was for a commercial to portray the story of an abused child as he navigates the court system with the help of Montgomery Child Advocacy Project through a child advocate.
“MCAP provides strength and a voice to abused children in Montgomery County by giving them free legal representation,” said Abby Silverman Leeds, executive director of the advocacy project.
Produced by Flim Films LLC, an independent, full-service film, video and multimedia production company with a studio in Lansdowne, the promotional spot will appear on MCAP’s website and be used by MCAP members at speaking engagements and seminars to highlight the agency’s work and will also be used to promote the organization for fundraising purposes.
“We want to promote MCAP and get the word out. When we have members of our board and when we have other people who are asked to go speak places it’s nice to be able to take something that people can watch,” Leeds said.
And it’s good to have an organization the caliber of MCAP to promote.
The Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, formed in the late 1990s and officially becoming a nonprofit in 2005, provides free legal representation and social services to children who are victims of abuse and neglect.
Volunteer lawyers support and protect frightened, overwhelmed children as they navigate the court system.
The child advocates address the needs of children who are victims or witnesses in cases of family violence when the interests of the child are in conflict with the rest of the family. The principle founders of the project were District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy and lawyer Marc R. Steinberg.
MCAP often works hand-in-hand with the Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center.
Mission Kids, opened in 2009, was created by the collaborative effort of the Montgomery County District Attorney, the Police Chiefs of Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth to stop the life cycle of abuse and improve outcomes for abused children and their families. The nonprofit corporation operates a child-friendly facility where medical professionals, social workers, police officers and attorneys come together to conduct forensic interviews, streamlining the investigative process and providing victims with the necessary support services to help them heal.
“We hope that people see what MCAP is, the importance of MCAP and that they can understand why MCAP is such an essential service to the children of Montgomery County and that by seeing that and recognizing how important it is they will want to help us,” Leeds said of the commercial production.
MCAP and Mission Kids make a difference in Montgomery County and fill an exemplary role as advocates for children.
Currently, about 202 lawyers donate their time as child advocates. Since the project’s inception, lawyer advocates have helped 3,152 children throughout the county, according to Pat Teaford, program coordinator.
The program deserves support and promotion as a role model for other counties and as a resource for children.
21st Century Media News Service