Family Justice Center Gala

The Fourth Annual Alameda County Family Justice Center Gala, “One”, was held last Saturday evening, January 29th, at the Rotunda Building in Oakland. Over 300 attended the Black Tie event, which raised money for the FJC’s KidZone and other victim support programs offered by the Family Justice Center.

Guests came together from the Bay Area and beyond to unite in support of the FJC, including a number of state, regional and local elected officials. They were treated to a violin concert performed by young players from Alameda County, and were able to bid on a host of generous donations from many local and regional businesses.

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley was buoyed by the support shown for the FJC and the valuable work they and their 18 on-site collaborative partners perform.

"The Alameda County Family Justice Center Gala was a spectacular event,” she said.

“We not only brought attention to the FJC, but also we were able to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of the individual agencies who unite under the FJC umbrella to serve victims of crime in a collaborative and comprehensive way," said DA O'Malley.

At the function, DA Nancy O’Malley announced Cherri Allison (current Executive Director of the Family Violence Law Center) as the new Executive Director of the FJC. Ms Allison takes up the post following the resignation of former Executive Director, Nadia Lockyer, who was elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors for District 3 in November.

Hillary Larkin was honored with the 'Champion Extraordinaire' Award at the Gala. Hillary has been a long-standing leader in the health care environment with a special emphasis on victims of sexual assault and domestic violence seeking medical treatment. Ms. Larkin is a founder of the Sexual Assault Response Team program; she created the protocol for the health care provider response to Domestic Violence in the Emergency Department and is the visionary behind DVRR, the electronic program that links health care services with ACFJC services for victims being treated for injuries as a result of Domestic Violence.

Also accepting an award on the night for her outstanding leadership and service to the FJC was Ms Lockyer.

The Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) is a one-stop center for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child and elder abuse, and sexually exploited minors. It is made up of governmental and non-profit agencies that co-locate to provide comprehensive services to victims and their families.

The ACFJC currently has 18 on-site partners and several off-site partners and works with many community-based organizations within Alameda County. They were one of the first 15 to receive funding from the 2003 President's Family Justice Center Initiative and is one of three Regional Training Centers in California that provide technical assistance to communities who are in various stages of opening Family Justice Centers.

KidZone is the onsite childcare program open to all families who are visiting the Justice Center. It provides children visiting a safe and comfortable environment whilst they wait for their parents who are receiving services, or whilst they wait for their own appointment. Each child is offered a snack and leaves with a quilt after their first visit and a new toy after their second. KidZone is staffed with one coordinator and relies on volunteers for additional onsite support, as well as donated snacks, toys and quilts. It has proven a vital part of the ACFJC because without it, some families may not seek services due to lack of a safe place in which to leave their children

Posted on Feb 1, 2011