"This one-of-a-kind program is essential to our community," explains Community Foundation President Nancy Kieling. "Our Fund for Women and Girls giving circle members are proud to support PEI Kids and salute them for their vital work."
Based in Lawrenceville, NJ, PEI Kids has been a leader in addressing issues surrounding child sexual assault for over a quarter of a century. Through its Crisis Intervention for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse Program, it provides immediate short term counseling to over 95 percent of Mercer County’s reported cases of child sexual abuse. Since its inception, the program has served more than 5,000 child victims.
In recognition of the program’s success, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey recently named PEI Kids as the lead agency for the Greater Mercer Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse, which will work to educate every adult who works and/or lives in Mercer County on how to prevent child sexual abuse and how to recognize when a child may be being abused.
PEI Kids Executive Director Penny Ettinger states, “We are very thankful for the Princeton Area Community Foundation’s ongoing and generous support of PEI Kids. We have provided immediate crisis intervention counseling to sexually abused children for 27 years. It is what we were founded to do -- and what we still do, each and every day.”
According to Dr. Juanita Johnson Brooks, the Program’s Clinical Director for the past 16 years, “Cognitively, socially and emotionally, it is critically important to immediately help the child process the abuse, normalize reactions and provide adaptive coping skills -- and to include the family in the treatment process to help the family process the trauma and to increase family bonds, functioning and healing. Intergenerational support group meetings foster maternal child bonding and empathy; and enhance child victims’ physical, emotional and mental health at an extremely sensitive time in their lives. “
About PEI Kids
PEI Kids’ aspiration for the children of Mercer County, NJ, is “Safe Kids, Sound Futures.” Currently serving approximately 16,000 children and their families each year, the nonprofit organization began in 1985 when, while working at a rape crisis center, its founders discovered there were no local services tailored for children who had been sexually abused. For the past 27 years, its mission has been dedicated to promoting and maintaining a safe environment for all children. Its services have expanded to include engaging, developmentally appropriate and culturally diverse Prevention/Education and Intervention programs relating to personal safety; physical and sexual abuse; understanding physical and educational differences;
About The Princeton Area Community Foundation
The Princeton Area Community Foundation is a public charity serving central New Jersey. It enables individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create permanent charitable funds that help their communities meet the challenges of changing times. The Foundation invests and administers these funds, award grants and scholarships, and provides an array of services to promote philanthropy and support our local nonprofit sector. For further information, please call 609-219–1800 or visit www.pacf.org.