Becoming Their Voice: Uniting for Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 11, 2024

Guest Post by Koinonia Family Services Executive Director, Tiffany Sickler, PhD
Koinonia Team at the California regional offices.
Koinonia supervisors and upper managers at Koinonia corporate office.

As I sit down to write these words, I am overwhelmed with a sense of urgency as we enter Child Abuse Prevention Month. My name is Tiffany Sickler, and I wear many hats - a clinical psychologist, Executive Director of Koinonia Family Services, but above all, a fervent advocate for children in need of safety and permanency. I’m writing not just from my professional experience but from the depths of my own journey - a journey that started as a child in care and which has led me into a career of service and to foster and adopt children who were once like me, unseen and unheard.

As adults, as a community, we have a responsibility to see these children, not as statistics or cases, but as individuals with unique stories and potential who will one day be our community and world leaders. We can’t afford to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to their cries for help. We must be their voice, their advocates, their champions.

Koinonia has served vulnerable youth and families for over 40 years in the areas of foster care, residential care, day treatment, intensive and therapeutic foster care services, behavioral health, substance use counseling, mental health clinical support, post-adoption services including wraparound, and most recently, enhanced care management and community outreach with trust-based relational interventions.

I humbly ask that you join Koinonia and our treasured partners in the Alliance in this urgent plea for advocacy and action. We need foster parents who are willing to open their hearts and homes to children in need of safety and love. We need policymakers who are committed to creating a system that prioritizes the well-being and futures of these vulnerable youth and their families. We need communities that rally around these children, offering support, resources, and encouragement every step of the way.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task before us, but I believe in the power of collective action and the resilience of the human spirit. Each one of us has the ability to make a difference, whether it's through volunteering, donating, mentoring, advocating, or simply spreading awareness.

Let’s not wait for another tragedy to spur us into action. The time is now, and the need is great. Together, we can create a world where every child is seen, heard, and loved.

With hope and determination,

Tiffany Sickler, PhD

Executive Director, Koinonia Family Services

“Koinonia” (Koy-no-nee’-ah) is a Greek word which means “fellowship.” It carries with it the meaning of a committed, trustworthy and dependable relationship. It is this “koinonia” relationship that has made the difference in the lives of thousands of foster children. Koinonia Family Services exists to bring hope and healing to children, youth and families through meaningful relationships and quality programs and services. Our core values we are committed to are: Integrity, Authenticity, Respect, Teamwork, Compassion, Transparency, and Inclusiveness.

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