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Child Abuse Prevention Month: At A&C, We’re All a Part of Creating Safe and Happy Childhoods

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

At Adult & Child Health, we know the value of the continuum of care that our staff are able to provide to our patients and clients. Our comprehensive, wide-ranging services touch the whole health journey, from prevention and outreach to treatment and management/enabling services.

The continuum of care is also crucial in preventing child abuse and working toward creating a safe, healthy, and care-free childhood for every child in our communities. Even the service lines that don’t directly work with youth have the capability to positively impact adults, lifting them up and enabling them to care for the children in their lives in more effective and compassionate ways.


Let’s talk about prevention.

Primary Prevention: Programs and services designed to promote the general welfare of children and families.

Secondary Prevention: Services identified and provided to families who have identified risk factors for maltreatment.

Tertiary Prevention: Services provided after the occurrence of abuse or neglect. These services are designed to prevent the recurrence of abuse.

Most of Adult & Child Health’s services fall under primary prevention. It’s even described in our value statement:

“We strive for equitable, caring communities, where every child, adult, and family have opportunities to live healthy, purposeful lives.”

Our child welfare and wraparound teams play a large role in secondary prevention, with therapeutic foster care and behavioral health/therapy services stepping in to provide additional tertiary prevention.

The ability to focus on upstream efforts to build stronger families is a major positive outcome of Adult & Child’s continuum of care. According to Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, “by focusing especially on primary prevention, we can help mitigate the necessity of the other two.”

A&C provides and links families to crucial supports.

Linkage to supports and services is a significant way in which many Adult & Child teams are creating stronger families. Below are some ways Prevent Child Abuse Indiana recommends that communities can get involved– and where A&C is already working to have an impact.

  • Strengthen parenting. Adult & Child Health provides many ways for parents to access support. Different service lines offer education, home visits, and additional resources.
  • Respond to family crises. Families can receive additional support when they need it through Adult & Child Health’s Crisis Services, which include a crisis receiving and stabilization center at our Madison Avenue location, a 24/7 mental health crisis support phone line, and a mobile crisis team. Additionally, A&C is the coordinating agency for Safe Place services for youth aged 10-17 in Marion, Johnson, and Monroe counties. 
  • Link families to services and opportunities. Adult & Child Health strives to be a hub for families to find connections to housing resources, education, health care, mental health and other essential services.

You can learn more about the roles of our Child Welfare Specialists, including their insights and advice for parents and caregivers, through spotlight interviews with Chris and Lindsay

If you or someone you know could benefit from Adult & Child’s services or if you’re interested in learning more, please call our main line at 317.882.5122 or fill out our inquiry form here

More To Explore

Agency News

Adult & Child Health Receives CCBHC Designation

Adult & Child Health, a leading community mental health center in Central Indiana, is thrilled to announce it has been designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). This designation is announced alongside the exciting news that Indiana was selected as one of 10 new states to join the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program. By becoming a CCBHC, Adult & Child Health can unlock critical resources to address the growing need for mental health services in Indianapolis. This includes crisis care, improved staff recruitment and retention thanks to sustainable funding, and the ability to expand their service offerings. CCBHC will allow Adult & Child Health to offer competitive compensation and top-of-market wages, making them a more attractive workplace for qualified providers. With the rich history and commitment of Adult & Child Health to making a difference, they can achieve even greater impact through this transformation. “Indiana’s selection for the CCBHC program is a major step forward in strengthening mental health resources for residents,” said C.J. Davis, CEO, Adult & Child Health. “This designation allows us to make a significant impact by expanding access to essential mental health services in Central Indiana. We’re committed to ensuring our community members have the resources they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.” The Biden-Harris Administration announced the additional states being added to the CCBHC program earlier today. Adult & Child Health had been selected by the state to be a CCBHC if Indiana was selected, but the decision of which states would be selected to join the program had been pending until today. CCBHC is a transformational program that provides sustainable funding for designated organizations and has been shown to increase access to mental health and substance use care, reduce homelessness and substance use, decrease use of emergency rooms and hospitalizations and improve overall health outcomes. It requires that designated CCBHC organizations provide 24/7 crisis services, outpatient care within 10 business days, medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, care coordination and support services, as well as other evidence-based treatments.

School Based Services

Perry Township School Enjoys a Successful Summer SEL-ebration

Students and families at Glenns Valley Elementary enjoyed a Summer SEL-ebration on May 15 thanks to the planning and preparation of Glenns Valley Elementary SEL Specialist, Miranda Mellendorf, and Glenns Valley Elementary Social Worker, Amanda Craig, along with support from the GVE PTA, GVE teachers, and additional members of the A&C SEL team. Attendees made tie-dye t-shirts, slime, decorated some petunia plants to take home, added to the GVE Gratitude Banner, helped with a collaborative sticker mosaic, played outdoor games, and discovered how all of these fun activities can help promote SEL. The event was free for students and their families and was made possible by a Family Engagement Impact Grant from the Perry Township Education Foundation.

Sarah Miller, PMHNP-BC

Sarah Miller works with the addictions team, general psychiatry for adolescents and adults, and the competency restoration team. She is board-certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties are working in addictions and with people who experience serious mental illness.

Miller graduated from Indiana University with a psychology degree and went back to school for nursing. She received her nursing degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked in a nursing home and also spent time working in a group home with adolescents. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

She enjoys hanging out with her family and her two dogs, and going to sporting events.

Joanna Chambers, MD

Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November 2021. She graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her Doctorate of Medicine in 1996 and completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience, she currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine where she teaches Clinical Psychiatry. She is certified in Addiction Medicine and has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Organization as well as a sitting member of many medical association boards. Recently, she has won the Residents’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 from Indiana University and has received “Best Doctors Award” in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Dr. Chambers is incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine. She is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.