History

Cafa's HistoryIn 1994, Echo Lucas and Sandy Lackington were becoming increasingly aware of domestic abuse in Lane County and the lack of services available for women with traditional or Christian values. They connected with Carolyn Rexius LCSW, who shared their concern and vision and together they formed CAFA, originally named Christians Addressing Family Abuse.  CAFA originally offered counseling services and support groups for women and children involved in abusive homes and relationships. 

Soon after, groups were formed to serve the initiators of domestic violence. These were named OPAC, Outgrowing Power Anger & Control and helped men and women deal with their abusive behaviors, discovering where they came from and tools to use to make better choices that would create safe relationships.

CAFA’s Executive Director, Carolyn Rexius, LCSW, has been part of Lane County’s coordinated community response to DV since 1995 in a collaborative effort with Child Welfare, Parole & Probation, and other agencies to reduce DV in our community. CAFA’s mission encompasses the entire family impacted by DV. We currently provide 60% of the services to men and women court mandated for DV treatment in Lane County.

Because healthy children come from healthy parents, CAFA also offered parenting classes to address the impact of domestic violence on children. These classes use Filial Play Therapy as a tool to create moments of connection between the parent and child.  Parents learn skills of reflective listening, recognizing and responding to children's feelings, therapuetic limit setting and building a child's self-esteem. These classes involve educational instruction as well as directed play sessions.

In 2008, the local program offering supervised visitation services for families required to have a third party present in order to see their child(ren), closed it's door due to a lack of funding.  Through partnerships with local churches who donate their space and volunteers (drastically reducing the overhead for the program) CAFA was able to open a program to once again offer this vital service to the families of our community.  Kids Connecting remained the only supervised visitation program in Lane County from 2008-2014 and facilitated over 2300 visits during this time. Thankfully, a second program through Lane County Family Mediation is now available to help meet this community need.

As CAFA grew, the mission remained the same, Making a Safer Place for Children, but the scope of the services availavble widened leading to a change in name which reflected this broadened emphasis: Christians As Family Advocates.

One more piece of the CAFA puzzle is to educate and activate the faith community to the reality of domestic violence and it's effects on children in Lane County. CAFA encourages and resources churches and faith communities to carry out the healing ministry of their faith to hurting families all over the community regarding this widespread problem.

The vision of Echo, Sandy and Carolyn has been and is continuing to be fulfilled through classes, individual counseling and resources that are making a difference in Lane County and all over the Northwest.

 

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