Delaware Co. Center Gets $100K In Relief To Help Kids Through Abuse Situations


Thursday, October 21st 2021, 9:21 pm
By: Grant Stephens


DELAWARE COUNTY, Oklahoma -

A children's agency in Delaware County is getting $100,000 to continue helping kids through severe abuse.

The money comes from federal COVID 19 relief funding.

The Delaware County Children's Special Advocacy Network said it's seeing huge spike in cases, but they've gone through a huge drop in funding after the pandemic forced it to cancel all its in-person fundraising.

In a normal year, Director Jill McAbee will see 120 to 140 kids come through, but she's already at 150 this year and expects to see dozens more before the year ends.

"It's been such a long, hard year. I mean we have seen more severe cases of child abuse than I've ever seen in my life," McAbee said.

Her staff interviews kids to help criminal abuse investigators build court cases, then helps council the children and families through their grief.

"During the whole pandemic, we continued doing our jobs no matter what. Because these kids needed us," McAbee said.

Though the team worked harder than ever, they had to get by on savings since cancelled fundraisers cut funding to a trickle. So McAbee got to work on a solution and applied for relief funds.

"I thought, 'Oh this is a long shot,'" she said.

Weeks later the move paid off when Delaware County Commissioners awarded the center $100,000 in federal funding. The money will help make up for lost fundraisers and will let McAbee and her staff continue to work.

"It's like I could finally take a deep breath," McAbee said.