Founded in 1997, CALICO achieves justice and healing for over 600 toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities each year. Children and adults come to CALICO as a result of sexual abuse and exploitation, physical harm, neglect, drug endangerment, or severe violence they have witnessed in their home or community. For these individuals, CALICO is often their first opportunity to tell in full what happened and their first step to recovery.
CALICO improves the quality of life of young victims and families in several ways:
While the discussions that take place at CALICO concern difficult situations, the atmosphere is one of hope. Children walk away with a book, stuffed animal and blanket, feeling safe and protected. Caregivers leave equipped with tools to guide the whole family towards healing. By checking in after the interview and through follow-up conversations, we can report the following:
CALICO is the only child advocacy center in the county. If CALICO did not exist, abuse victims would be forced to tell their accounts of abuse in uncomfortable and unsuitable environments. They would have to answer more questions asked by people not trained to talk to children and victims with special needs. As a result, evidence would be lost, many offenders would not be prosecuted, and families would lose a key opportunity to connect with the services they need to heal.
My wholehearted support for CALICO only grows, as I am thankful for their great work in reducing/eliminating any further trauma to abused children. CALICO is part of a team that puts kids first, with protection and stability as the primary mission.
—Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney
Alameda County District Attorney's Office