Meeting at CFI

In 1978 the problem of child sexual abuse was just beginning to emerge from the shadow of the dominant public issue of physical abuse and neglect. Sandra Baker, founder and Executive Director of Child and Family Institute (CFI), coordinated with Deputy District Attorney Ken Peterson (now Judge Peterson), and Child Protective Services to provide a treatment program for intrafamilial child sexual abuse. Other mental health professionals joined Ms. Baker providing group therapy services to these families referred by the criminal justice system.

The agency was incorporated in 1980 as the Sacramento Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (SCSATP). That same year it was awarded its first funding, an $80,000 federal grant to expand treatment services for intrafamilial child sexual abuse families, and to develop a Community Response Protocol to coordinate the systems response.

As we began to also receive referrals from the Child Welfare System for victims and non-offending parents, a separate program for these clients was established with funding from The Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP). When the federal grant ended, county funds were allocated to continue services for intrafamilial child sexual abuse. A juvenile sex offender treatment program was initiated in 1984, supported by funding from Office of Criminal Justice Planning (OCJP) in 1985. Outreach programs were developed for pregnant/parenting teens in the Sacramento School District, and for homeless children at Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center (SAEHC) and Mustard Seed. A Prevention and Education program also took shape, including an Information and Referral phone line, a parenting booklet, and primary prevention workshops in 6 North Sacramento District schools.

As the agency expanded its expertise and looked to the future, the name was changed to Child and Family Institute to reflect the ongoing concern for children and families, and the professional standards for clinical and empirical accomplishment. CFI had established a national reputation as one of the leading sexual abuse programs in the country. A Training Center component was established and provided multi-disciplinary training seminars and workshops to professionals from throughout Northern California.

That same year, the CFI clinical program expanded again with OCJP funding for services to "abuse-reactive" children (pre-teen children reacting to their own abuse by victimizing other children). In 1996 Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) funding for outreach services to local homeless shelters and transitional housing programs was approved by the Sacramento County Department of Mental Health, increasing the magnitude and diversity of services to this high-risk population. In 1998 CFI received two OCJP grants, one for victims of Neglect, and one for victims of child Trauma. In 1999 CFI received OCJP funding to be the Child Abuse Treatment Specialists (CATS) for three Family Resource Centers participating in the Birth and Beyond prevention program.


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