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STANISLAUS FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER 

Just 11 years ago, Judge Linda McFadden learned of a new program to provide services to domestic violence victims through a collaborative, one-stop shop approach. In 2006, Judge McFadden asked a group of county leaders to take up the development of a Family Justice Center in Stanislaus County. At that time, newly-elected District Attorney Birgit Fladager agreed to take the leadership role, and thus was born the beginning of the Stanislaus Family Justice Center. With the diligent support of our District Attorney and a number of local supporters, our community started on the path to create our own Family Justice Center—a one stop shop for victims of domestic violence and child abuse—a facility for the co-location of services to provide resources and assistance to victims and their families.

In 2010, the vision became a reality with the support of a strong, willed board, community support, executive director Tom Ciccarelli, and the District Attorney’s office. The Stanislaus Family Justice Center (SFJC) opened their doors and began providing services to victims in a wrap- around approach that had not been done before. We have now been open for six years. We have provided services to 7,208 adults and 6,938 children, both new and returning clients; serving approximately 280 new adult clients each year.

The SFJC has been generously rewarded with the ongoing support of the Foster and Gallo families, but also with the passion of its directors.

As quickly as Carol Shipley retired from the District Attorney’s office, the Center was able to encourage her to serve as our Executive Director following Tom Ciccarelli’s retirement. The Center has been thriving with Carol at the helm. Her undeniable passion for clients and care providers is demonstrated each and every day. In Carol’s career with the District Attorney’s office, it was evident that she could be tough on crime but sensitive to the needs of her staff and the victims. That same dedication and focus is what she has brought to the Center. Carol adeptly works with her board of community members, coordinates numerous volunteers, manages her staff, and continues to ensure the respective partner agencies are meeting the needs of the clients.

During this time of the year, people are often asked to support a variety of non profits and the good works they do for our community. Under Carol Shipley’s leadership at the Center, the SFJC has continued to see success, but success comes at a price. This year, we are asking our holiday donors to consider contributing to the Center in honor of our Executive Director Carol Shipley, to recognize the work she does, and to support her and her staff as they continue to give a voice to the victims served.

We are fortunate to have many wonderful donors who support the SFJC. Many enjoy giving to our Art Restores Kids Outreach Program and sending kids to camp. It’s easy to understand the wonderful feeling you get helping children, and that support is very much appreciated. Such generous giving has helped us send 96 kids to camp in 2016 and provided parties for these kids.This is a very necessary part of mitigating the trauma that these children are experiencing right now. What we also need though is to provide safety and healing for the parents of these children. If we don’t help the abused parent, it’s a disservice to their children. The Stanislaus Family Justice Center needs to increase our staff and partners to provide the needed services to the victims in our community. We need to be able to provide our clients with professional counseling, medical care, transportation, parenting classes, job training, personal coaching, financial literacy, credit counseling, and much more. We need sustainable funding to do this. Yes, we have grants, but grants run out. Grants can also be restrictive to the services and/or clients that we can serve. We need community members to understand that the Family Justice Center saves lives. We need the community’s support to continue helping victims in our community. We need your help if we are to put an end to the cycle of violence.

Donations can be made to the Stanislaus Family Justice Center located at 1625 I St.

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