Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin announced that it has received a gift of $2.5 million from the Selig family to support the Sojourner Family Peace Center, a first-of-its-kind family justice model in Milwaukee.
The new, centrally located 78,000-square foot facility, which is scheduled to open in 2016, is a joint project between Sojourner Family Peace Center and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. It will provide both adult and child-focused services to families who are victims of domestic abuse throughout the state and will be one of the nation’s first complete co-location of a child advocacy center with a family justice center. In his budget, Gov. Scott Walker proposed funding $10.6 million (half of the overall cost) from the Building Commission. The Wisconsin State Legislature approved the state grant in June 2013. The remaining funds are required to come from the private sector.
The Seligs’ gift will support expansion and enhancement of prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse; professional and community education; child trauma therapy; foster children health screens; and Project Ujima, which addresses the needs of youth victims of violence. It will also house the Child Abuse Prevention Fund and Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Program.
“The Selig family has made a profound impact by providing a voice for many of Milwaukee’s most vulnerable children and families in our community,” said Peggy Troy, CEO, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “We are so grateful for the Seligs’ long-standing dedication, which allows us to ensure children in Milwaukee and other parts of the state receive the best care possible and gives hope to families and children who are victims of domestic abuse.”
“Children and families for generations will benefit from the work done by Children’s Hospital and Sojourner to prevent and treat domestic abuse. We are committed to helping our most vulnerable citizens, which is why we included over $10 million in the most recent budget to partner with Children’s Hospital and Sojourner on this project. The Selig family’s generosity brings further attention and funding to this issue and is a wonderful gift to our community,” said Gov. Walker.
The Seligs’ legacy to children began 27 years ago, when they recognized the need to protect children in our community. In 1987, in response to the rising incidence of abuse and neglect, Bud Selig co-founded the Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund with then-Milwaukee County Supervisor Thomas Bailey and former Children’s Hospital and Health System President and CEO Jon E. Vice. The CAP Fund continues to provide financial support for primary prevention activities in Wisconsin, aiming to help ensure a safe environment for children and educate professionals and the public about the role of prevention in eliminating child abuse.
The other components at the center will include an on-site shelter for victims and dedicated space for law enforcement services, medical and social services, legal services, district attorney services, mental health and AODA counseling, job training and faith-based services in the facility, which will be built at 619 W. Walnut St. in Milwaukee.
“The new center will end the splintered approach that has made it difficult for battered women and abused children to receive needed care and bring their abuser to justice,” said Carmen Pitre, executive director, Sojourner Family Peace Center.
According to the Children’s Trust Fund, Wisconsin annually spends $8.07 million to protect children from abuse and neglect and 83 times as much — $673 million — to repair the damage done by abuse.
Providers and government agencies housed at The Family Peace Center will include:
– Sojourner Family Peace Center
– Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (Child Advocacy Center/Child Protection Center, Child Abuse Prevention Fund, Prevent Child – – Abuse Wisconsin, WI CAN, and Project Ujima)
– Milwaukee Police Department
– Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office
– Job Training Agency Partner
– Suburban law enforcement representatives
– Legal Action