Funds OK’d to help Bradley patients, others

Counseling planned for Sussex Latinos
January 14, 2010

Thu, Jan 14, 2010

The state has released $145,000 to help potential victims of Lewes pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley and more than a third of that money is earmarked for the Cape Region Latino community.

Members of the Criminal Justice Council, an independent body attempting to ensure a fair, efficient criminal justice system in Delaware, met Monday, Jan. 11, and made funds available for services for alleged Bradley victims and their families.

The funds will be overseen by the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

Criminal Justice Council Acting Executive Director Christian Kervick said officials submitted a comprehensive plan for using the funds, including interpretation and translating services for non-English speakers. The money comes from the Victim of Crimes Act, a federal grant from the Department of Justice. About $60,000 will be used to hire one full-time clinician to increase the capacity of providers in Sussex and Kent counties, said Kelly Bachman, department spokeswoman.

The clinician will visit homes to assess children exhibiting traumatic symptoms, she said. About $25,000 will go toward training and ongoing professional consultation for trauma-focused, cognitive behavioral therapists. Bachman said child therapists are already available throughout the state, but the money will provide additional training to meet the needs of very young children; Bradley’s alleged victims have been identified as between 2 and 4 years old.

For monthly support groups, $10,000 has been allocated for adults and families affected indirectly or directly by alleged abuses. These funds will be directed to community centers, faith-based organizations and hospital community rooms that provide support, said Bachman.

Sussex County’s Spanish-speaking community has been targeted as a group affected by Bradley in an ongoing investigation. Bachman said $50,000 would be used to circulate information in Spanish to Sussex County Latinos through radio advertisements.

“In Sussex County, it’s hard for the Latino community to reach out, mostly because of language barriers, to get the services they need. This is our opportunity to target them specifically. We know the doctor’s office did include Latino patients,” said Bachman.

She said Vivian Rapposelli, secretary for Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, chose to target Sussex Hispanics after hearing first-hand accounts from members of the community during community forums in the Cape Region. Rapposelli, who speaks Spanish, became concerned about how abuse has affected Latino families and children.

“Based on that, we felt it would be necessary to reach out to them as well and be sure that their voices be heard and that services and programs be made available to them” said Bachman.

La Esperanza, a nonprofit referral agency based in Georgetown, is teaming up with state agencies and will hold weekly meetings in Spanish and provide counseling, in addition to radio advertisements, said Bachman.

Margaret Reyes, of Lewes, sits on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic Affairs. As the board’s social justice chairwoman, she said,

“We’re glad to see the state of Delaware is reaching out to all communities across the board, which shows they are serious about helping any potential victims of abuse by Dr. Earl Bradley. We hope for healing of all communities.”