If you haven’t already, you will soon be seeing Blue Kids in lawns, on posters and in store windows throughout Lake County Illinois.  The Blue Kids is a community education effort to raise awareness and combat child abuse.  The Blue Kids pop up in April because April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States since 1983.

What is child abuse?

In its simplest form, child abuse is the physical or mental maltreatment or sexual molestation of a child.

Maltreatment includes neglect of a child which encompasses failing to provide food, clothing and care.

In 2015, the most recent year that data is available, nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States annually.  An estimated 683,000 children (unique incidents) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2015.

Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment. Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, three-quarters suffered neglect; 17.2% suffered physical abuse; and 8.4% suffered sexual abuse. (Some children are polyvictimized—they have suffered more than one form of maltreatment.)

About four out of five abusers are the victims’ parents. A parent of the child victim was the perpetrator in 78.1% of substantiated cases of child maltreatment.

According to Lake County Undersheriff Ray Rose said one of the most important ways to address child abuse is to realize and address its causes, which he said include domestic violence, mental health issues and alcohol and drug abuse.

Nicasa provides many services to support healthy families, including its nationally recognized parent support and education program.  Nicasa provides family advocacy services including:

  • Compassionate service advocacy and case management
  • Parent support and education
  • Referrals for health care
  • Referrals for domestic violence counseling
  • Referrals to other local social service agencies and townships for financial and basic needs assistance
  • Family counseling
  • Referrals to other Nicasa services including substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, and anger management

Please visit our page for more information about the programs Nicasa offers to help build strong and healthy families in Northern Lake County, Illinois.

Nicasa’s Mission and Vision

Mission: Nicasa empowers and promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent and treat substance abuse, addiction, and other risky behaviors.

Vision: Nicasa will be the premier behavioral and social health services organization for individuals, families, and communities in northern Illinois and beyond.

 

As we embark on a new calendar year, it’s time to look back at our previous fiscal year and reflect on the successes and challenges Nicasa faced.

For fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016), we are proud of the over 7,000 clients we served.

5,636 Adolescent and adult clients were served in counseling and Bridge House

2,076 children were served with in-school and after school programming

239 adolescent offenders served in Teen Court

Nicasa was awarded a $100,000 challenge grant by the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County. The grant matched new and increased donations from individual, corporate and foundation donors.  Nicasa raised the entire challenge amount within six months.  We are incredibly thankful to all the donors who helped us reach our goal!

Yong Taekwondo donated 40 turkeys for our clients’ holiday meals and held a board breaking event that raised $1,300 for Nicasa’s family advocacy program.  An additional 61 holiday meals were provided by Jewel-Osco.  The turkeys and meals were distributed to Nicasa clients in need.

Nicasa celebrated its 50th Anniversary on June 17, 2016.  Incorporated in 1966 as a one-employee organization, Nicasa celebrated 50 years of innovation and quality behavioral health services to the individuals, families and communities of Lake County.  Multiple events are planned throughout the year.

Nicasa’s 50th Anniversary Commemorative Golf Outing took place on June 20 at White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills.   Mark your calendars for June 19, 2017 and join us for a beautiful day of golf in support of Nicasa’s programs and services!  For more information or to register, please visit us at http://nicasa.org/golf/.  Maybe you will be the one who takes home the $50,000 putting prize!

In a difficult financial climate, when many social service agencies were cutting programs or closing doors due to the Illinois state budget crisis, Nicasa was able to weather the storm and continue essential operations at all facilities.  Though many cuts and adjustments were made, Nicasa was dedicated to maintiaining its position s a viable resource and valuable provider for low-income individuals and families.  Fiscally responsible management, as well as supportive donors, and utilization of reserves allowed Nicasa to survive the year without payment of many state contracts.  We are extremely grateful to all our donors who support us in our mission and vision.

Nicasa’s Mission and Vision

Mission: Nicasa empowers and promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent and treat substance abuse, addiction, and other risky behaviors.

Vision: Nicasa will be the premier behavioral and social health services organization for individuals, families, and communities in northern Illinois and beyond.