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MERIT now available in DeKalb County

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 10:29 a.m. CDT
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The MERIT (Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team) program recently began in DeKalb County. Pediatric evaluations for both physical and sexual abuse will be conducted at the DeKalb County Health Department.
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The Sycamore Chamber Ambassador Club helped celebrate the opening of the specialized medical expertise of the MERIT (Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team) Program to DeKalb County. Pediatric evaluations for both physical and sexual abuse require specialized training for medical personnel as well as specialized equipment.
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The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and board members and Mayor John Rey recently congratulated The Children’s Advocacy Center on bringing the MERIT (Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team) program to DeKalb County.

The Family Service Agency’s Children’s Advocacy Center now has a Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT) with the ability to conduct specialized medical evaluations for children suspected of sexual or physical abuse in DeKalb County.

This asset for the community, and especially for children involved in a child abuse investigation, has been made possible by the generosity of the DeKalb County Community Foundation, KishHealth System, a part of Northwestern Medicine, and the DeKalb County Health Department, as well as the dedication of the CAC Advisory Board and strong support in the community.

Through coordination by the CAC, these exams will now be conducted at the DeKalb County Health Department by a pediatrician who is board certified in child abuse examinations. No longer do children and families have to make the trip to Rockford for their specialized medicals, reducing barriers for families.

The CAC is part of the multidisciplinary team that consists of law enforcement, the state’s attorney’s office, child protection, medical personnel and certified trauma counselors who all are dedicated to ensuring the safety of children and lessening the trauma of abuse.

Family Service Agency is comprised of four distinct departments – Big Brothers Big Sisters, Center for Counseling, Children’s Advocacy Center and Senior Services Center. A host of programs are available through these departments, and all services are provided by experienced professionals. 

Family Service Agency’s main office is located at 14 Health Services Drive with Senior Services Center operations at 330 Grove St. in DeKalb. Family Service Agency is a Kishwaukee United Way Agency.

For more information about the services at Family Service Agency, call 815-758-8616 or visit www.fsadekalbcounty.org. For more information regarding the Senior Services Center, call 815-758-4718.