CARES: Medical assessments for child abuse victims

by CARES Northwest


To better understand CARES Northwest’s impact on the well-being of our young patients, our organization joined eight other Oregon child abuse intervention centers to participate in the Oregon Outcomes Measurement System Pilot Project. This two-year quantified study was designed to measure the validity of this statement:  “The child abuse center facilitates healing for the child and their caregivers.

Caregivers were asked to complete a 12-question survey at the end of their child’s visit to CARES Northwest. Of the 337 surveys we received in 2012:

  • 98 percent believed their child felt safe at the center.
  • 98 percent felt when they came to the center they were greeted and received attention in a timely manner.
  • 96 percent felt their questions were answered to their satisfaction.

The children and families we surveyed also left us wonderful feedback on the care they received:

“Thank you for being so nice. This is a hard time and it’s nice to have people who care.”

“Es la primera vez y gracias por la ayuda y por ser tan amables y brindar la ayuda necesaria. [This is our first time.  We thank you for the help, and for your kindness and for offering the needed support.]”

“My experience today was great under the circumstances of why we were here. I really like the way that things were handled and how comfortable I felt with the staff! And the blankets were a great idea with giving comfort for the children.”

 “Awesome! Made the best of a terrible situation—I feel relieved for first time. Thank you!”

We are pleased to be able to share with you some of the responses from the Oregon Outcomes Measurement System Pilot Project.  We know that visitors to Global Giving want to be sure their dollars are having a real impact on our communities. Rest assured that when you designate your gift to CARES Northwest, your dollars are having a positive, direct effect on children during a very difficult time in their lives.

We hope you find this information and testimonies informative and inspirational. Thank you for your partnership and helping us minimize the trauma of child abuse — even stave off its occurrence — in the communities we serve throughout the Northwest.

CARES Northwest’s 25th Anniversary Gala

On Nov. 16, hundreds of CARES Northwest supporters came to toast the 25th Anniversary of CARES Northwest with a festive gala at Leftbank Annex in Portland, Ore. The night included a tribute to Michael D. Schrunk, retiring Multnomah County District Attorney, who was an instrumental figure in the development of CARES Northwest. The event also helped raise awareness of our cause: more than 150 members of our community made first-time gifts in support of CARES Northwest.

Kevin Dowling, CARES Northwest program manager, helped provide context for the milestone. “Since opening our doors in 1987, we have served nearly 30,000 children in our medical clinic, and have triaged almost twice that many referrals,” Dowling said. “Before CARES was founded, if children were physically or sexually abused, they had to tell their painful story again and again and again. CARES brings together all agencies involved for one evaluation.

“The need is great and our program is committed to serving all children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. CARES Northwest relies on generous contributions from the community to ensure our most vulnerable patients receive care.”

Special Raffle Raises Funds for CARES Northwest

For only $50 per ticket, CARES Northwest is raffling off a one-of-a-kind pair of Nike Air Max 1’s (also celebrating its 25th anniversary!) in their original retro design and colors. Housed in a special keepsake box with the original design sketch etched in the top, the shoes are autographed by legendary designer Tinker Hatfield, as well as three 2012 London Olympic gold medal winners: Allyson Felix, Ashton Eaton and Oscar Pistorius. To purchase a ticket, contact Kelly Stover, events and sponsorship coordinator, at 503-413-6465.

Your Support

Each year, thousands of children in Oregon face physical and sexual abuse, neglect and/or domestic violence. Make a gift today to help our skilled clinicians and educators minimize the trauma of child abuse — and even stave off its occurrence — in our communities.

So far this year, your support of CARES Northwest has helped us conduct more than 900 outpatient assessments on children for whom there are concerns of physical or sexual abuse, neglect or exposure to domestic violence. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of donors like you. On behalf of the thousands of children and families who come to us for care, we extend our heartfelt thanks.

We also want to share our latest achievements with you:

  • We recently completed a fundraising campaign to purchase and install a new state-of-the-art video recording system, enabling our staff to record the forensic interviews they conduct with children and their families. The computer-based system is simple to use and provides high-quality recordings, easy archiving and access for medical providers, and secure storage.

  • Through a generous grant from Advantis Credit Union, we were able to fill an entire bookcase with educational materials for our child patients and their families. We purchased more than 400 books and pamphlets, and 30 DVDs – both in English and Spanish – on topics such as recognizing abusive situations, healing from trauma and keeping children safe. These resources are critical to our program and will be distributed to hundreds of families in need.

  • The Oregon Homicide Investigators Association (OHIA) recently honored CARES Northwest with a donation of funds raised at its annual Major Crimes Conference. Nearly 200 attendees representing more than 50 law enforcement agencies from across the Pacific Northwest attended the conference. The OHIA board of directors unanimously selected CARES Northwest as the donation recipient, noting that our program “exemplifies the highest standards of providing critical support to our community’s most vulnerable and deserving victims.” Thank you, OHIA!

  • Mark your calendars, because plans are underway for our 25th Anniversary Gala! We will celebrate this important milestone Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at the Leftbank Annex in Portland, Ore. The event will feature a performance by Portland’s own “soul sister,” Linda Hornbuckle. All proceeds will go directly to CARES Northwest’s programs and services. To purchase tickets, please visit

You can learn more about CARES Northwest on our website,, or by calling us at (503) 276-9000. Thank you again for your continued partnership and support.


CARES Northwest provides medical care and assessments for children in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington for whom there are concerns of abuse or neglect. Throughout our 25-year history, our approach has been to do what is in the best interest of each child’s health, safety and healing. So far this year, CARES Northwest has provided more than 500 outpatient child abuse assessments.

We want to share some recent highlights:

  • CARES Northwest was recently awarded $10,000 thanks to a group of tremendously dedicated volunteers known as the KP Quilters. The KP Quilters received Kaiser Permanente’s David Lawrence Community Service Award for demonstrating outstanding efforts to improve the health and well-being of our community. Last year, this group donated 120 lap-size quilts—as well as numerous toys, clothes and toiletries—to CARES Northwest.  The handmade quilts provide warmth and comfort to the many vulnerable children we serve. As part of their award, the KP Quilters chose to donate $10,000 to CARES Northwest.

  • In support of Child Abuse Prevention Month, CARES Northwest “planted” dozens of bright blue and silver pinwheels in the Children's Garden at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and displayed three large posters to help educate our community about preventing child abuse and neglect. “Pinwheels for Prevention” is a national program coordinated by Prevent Child Abuse America that aims to engage communities in combating child abuse through education and outreach. The Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon generously donated the pinwheels for our garden display.

  • CARES Northwest recently honored three “prevention all-star” teachers at Jackson Middle School in Portland, Ore. These exceptional teachers partner with our Child Abuse Prevention Team to ensure their seventh-grade health students learn about abusive head trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome and sexual abuse prevention.

Your generous support helps make it possible for us to serve the growing number of children who need our help. For more information, please visit or call us at (503) 276-9000.

Thank you for your partnership and continued support. 


CARES Northwest is a collaborative, community-based medical program for the assessment and treatment of child abuse. This month we thought we would share with you some information from the services we provided in 2011.

Of the 1,512 children who received outpatient assessment services at CARES Northwest this past year:

  • An average of 126 were served each month
  • An average of 6 were served each day
  • Gender: 67% girls and 33% boys
  • Age:
    Preschool (<5): 26%
    Elementary school (5-12): 49%
    Teen (13-17): 25%

Referral concerns (alone or with other concerns; total exceeds 100%):

  • Sexual Abuse: 59%
  • Physical Abuse: 29%
  • High risk environment: 24%
  • Neglect*: 9%
  • Witness to violence: 6%
  • Drug-endangered child: 4%
  • Non-abuse/second medical opinion: 1%

*Most often, children evaluated for concerns of neglect are evaluated for other types of abuse as well.

Your generous support helps make it possible for us to serve the growing number of children who need our help. For more information, please visit or contact CARES Northwest at 503-276-9000.


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Organization Information

CARES Northwest

Location: Portland, OR - USA
CARES Northwest
Project Leader:
Thomas Mowe
Portland, OR United States

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