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Group initiates donation request

Nonprofit identifies child abuse, neglect

A social service nonprofit has helped make Spokane a more humane place since 1988 by identifying and treating young victims of abuse and neglect.

Now, in tough economic times, Partners with Families and Children is asking for the community’s help.

For the first time, the organization, which has relied on public and private foundation funding, has launched a public campaign to raise money to maintain its services.

Partners with Families and Children, 613 S. Washington St., also finds foster placement, provides legal advocacy for children and performs forensic interviews, which are essential to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane Police Department.

“Both agencies would be at a loss if they were to dry up and go away,” said Sgt. Jim Faddis, of the Spokane police sexual assault unit.

Spokane Valley police Chief Rick Van Leuven said his office works closely with Partners and the state Children’s Administration after incidents such as drug busts at homes where there are children.

“We have a very efficient collaborative team that works together in the best interest of the children,” Van Leuven said.

Losing Partners would set those efforts back 20 years, the chief said.

No other similar organization in Spokane provides a pediatric team to determine when a child’s injuries are intentional, said Mary Ann Murphy, director of Partners with Families and Children.

“Our people are the instruments of healing,” Murphy said. “Their ability to form relationships and build trust and hope is our stock in trade.”

The Partners with Families and Children campaign hopes to raise $50,000 by the end of January.

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