Who is Superhero Gary Lasley?

Blog post written by: Gary Lasley about his experience working in the social service field, which eventually led him to intern as Family Support Specialist at the Child Protection Center. Gary is cherished by the CPC. We miss having him at the CPC, but know that he is out there doing great things for the world. He is also an avid KU fan! Can you tell?

Gary Lasley

In 1994, I was a member of the State of Missouri’s Task Force on Poverty which led me to the small towns located in the “bootheel” of the state.  At that time, these towns (Hornersville, Hermondale, and Caruth, among others) had a teenage pregnancy rate, along with its unemployment rate, beyond that of the nation’s average.  The knowledge gained from that experience fed my drive to become more involved in the ultimate mission of improving the lives of children.

After making the decision to get out of the political arena and pursue social work, my road led me to the Kansas City metropolitan area.  Serving as the Public Relations Director, and eventually Assistant Director, of a social service organization in Kansas City, I had the responsibility of overseeing the agency’s operations, services and programs; one of which was a women’s domestic violence shelter.  During my tenure, I noticed that many of the women entering the shelter were accompanied by their children.  These children were often victims of the abuse as well; physically, emotionally, and sexually.  However, because the main focus to the shelter was to empower the women, their children were often overlooked.  Although these kids were victims as well, they were often thought to be defiant, oppositional, or just “bad.”

Returning to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from The University of Kansas, I had the opportunity to advance my education surrounding abused children with the Child Protection Center (CPC).  During my practicum placement with CPC, I was able to witness the extraordinary work the staff provided the children and their families.  Working alongside other professionals from law enforcement and medical fields, the staff remained sensitive to the circumstances of the children while providing confidential, knowledgeable advocacy assistance to their non-offending parent/guardian.

The experience, education, and exposure I gained from observing and working alongside the CPC staff, as well as their collaborative partners, was invaluable.  The experience serves as an inimitable foundation as I continue to advocate for children.


Child Advocacy Center Spotlight

Centre County, PA experienced heartbreak as news about the Jerry Sandusky scandal surfaced. Centre County will be opening a child advocacy center next week. We are relieved that children who have experienced abuse in Centre County now have a safe place to turn to, a safe place that will honor their voices.

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — “After years of work, and as the dust continues to settle in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, officials in Centre County have opened a new facility designed to help children who may be victims of sexual abuse. The project to create a child advocacy center in the Centre region started just days after Jerry Sandusky was arrested in November 2011. He was later convicted. On Monday, county leaders and local officials gathered to showcase the new center.”

Read more here: http://www.wjactv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/child-advocacy-center-now-open-centre-co-1615.shtml

BELLEFONTE — “A child traumatized by abuse or neglect in Centre County might once have been interviewed a police officer. Later, she might tell her story again to a social worker. then to a doctor or a psychologist. Before she was even old enough for preschool, she might have to talk about the most horrible moments of her life half a dozen times before she even started to get help. With the opening of the Centre County Children’s Advocacy Center in Bellefonte on Monday, the experience changes to a child-focused single stop that aims to get past the hard part and begin the healing.”

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/02/10/4029113/centre-county-opens-child-advocacy.html#storylink=cpy

Tonight is the big night!

Award-winning Broadway actor Martin Moran has returned to Kansas City on behalf of the Child Protection Center to perform his solo-act “All The Rage.” We are so thankful for Martin’s time and dedication.

In 2010, Martin Moran visited Kansas City on behalf of the CPC to perform ‘The Tricky Part.” In that performance, he took viewers on a thought-provoking journey exploring the complexities of his life. This play shared his experience as a young victim of sexual abuse and his eventual path to forgiveness. In “All The Rage,” Martin Moran will take viewers on a quest from West of the Rockies to South of Johannesburg, unearthing the unexpected connections and human hilarities that arise as he attempts to resolve an ancient riddle.

Tonight’s performance will begin at 7:30 pm. General admission is only $50. Tickets will be available at the door. All proceeds from tonight’s play will benefit the CPC.

Venue: Kansas City Repertory Spencer Theater located in the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus at 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO 64110.

Parking: There are two lots immediately to the east of Spencer Theatre and you may also park in levels 5 & 6 of the newly constructed Cherry St. Garage. Although signs may indicate that a faculty/staff permit is required, this is NOT SO during performances.

Attending “All The Rage” generates a lot of hope for children in Kansas City.

We hope to see you there!