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Our History

In 1995, the Executive Directors of Oregon’s children’s advocacy centers established Oregon Child Abuse Solutions, a nonprofit grounded in collaborative partnership and with the goal of ensuring children have access to quality, comprehensive services. In 2009, Oregon Child Abuse Solutions hired its first staff member and in 2010, our nonprofit became an Accredited State Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. Oregon Child Abuse Solutions has remained an Accredited State Chapter ever since, securing Re-Accreditation most recently in January of 2022 under our second Executive Director.

Notable accomplishments include developing Oregon Interviewing Guidelines, Karly’s Law training video, Oregon Child Forensic Interview Training, advanced trainings, nation-leading Project Ability Training, peer-peer trainings and conferences, CAC Legal Toolkit, and others. Notable expansions include an increase in staff to four, an increase in CACs and children served, and, with the addition of Wasco County in 2017, every county in Oregon has a designated CAC. In 2021, we launched the statewide Medical Academy a nation-leading program for child abuse medical professionals. Capitalizing on the energy of our passionate child abuse medical professionals, in 2022, the first ever Child Physical Abuse training for Primary Care Clinicians was piloted. In Spring 2022, working alongside state experts in child forensic interviewing, Collaborative Child Abuse Response, a training for child abuse multidisciplinary team members was also piloted.

In 2020 OCAS was successful in securing a $1 million legislative investment in CACs to help respond to increasingly severe child abuse cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 2021 session, after three years of advocacy, Dalton Advocacy, Inc. the Oregon Child Abuse Solutions lobbyist was successful in securing an investment of $3M per year in the 2021-23 biennium.

Our Comprehensive Approach

Child welfare, the department, cannot solve child abuse, the problem. We are a critical partner to children, protective parents, child welfare workers, police officers, district attorneys, schools, medical providers, and all Oregonians. We employ a three-pronged approach of intervention, therapeutic treatment, and prevention to eliminate child abuse, one child at a time. All three strategies must act in harmony to provide the best chance for children and families to be safe and have an opportunity to thrive.


Our opportunity to give kids a voice and initiate healing is unmatched. Children may remember every detail about the day we intervened, and for this reason, we work hard to strengthen the services kids need. Our training programs target first responders – child welfare and law enforcement – so children are helped, not harmed, from the very first interaction.


Unhealed trauma in childhood can manifest in adult challenges like addiction, physical and mental health symptoms, and crime. We can prevent these devastating outcomes through early access to evidence-based therapy like trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. We are helping expand access to this therapy modality in Oregon.


Child abuse is preventable and it thrives in communities that don’t know what to look for. Everyone wants to help protect kids, but many don’t know how they fit into the solutions. We’re working hard to provide prevention education and advocate for investments. Abuse is bigger than bad actors, it’s about damaging cultures. We know we can solve this.

learn to protect
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Together We Are Better: Our Partners

OCAS partners with small and large businesses intent on making a difference in the lives of Oregon’s children impacted by abuse. These partnerships enable us to serve 7,895 children each year and provide prevention trainings for children and adults in communities across Oregon. Each time abuse is prevented, we spare a child unnecessary pain and save $830,000 dollars on average by avoiding lifespan costs associated with abuse.

We’re building a coalition of private partners energized by the vision of “making Oregon the safest state for children by 2030.” We believe in fighting for every child in our state. Driven by this belief, we work hard for the 120,000 children estimated to have experienced abuse in Oregon in the last year. Connect with us to see how you can join in.

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Board Members

Paul Schrader, Chair
Executive Director
CAC of Lincoln County
Bill Shaw, Treasurer
Managing Director
Aldrich Capital Advisors
Jackie Antunes, Vice President
Executive Director
Wally’s House
Ronecca Norvell, Secretary
Chief Executive Officer
Financial Beginnings USA 
Alison Kelley
Chief Executive Officer
Liberty House
Gil Levy
Executive Director
KIDS Center
Beatriz Lynch
Executive Director
SafeSpace Children’s Advocacy Center of the Gorge
Greg Valentin
Chief Operating Officer
Flex Force Enterprises Inc.
Jenny Gilmore-Robinson
Executive Director
CARES Northwest
Jeff Klein
Financial Advisor
Jeff Klein Investment Strategies


Shelly Smith Photo

Shelly Smith, MS

Executive Director

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Cassy Miller, BSHRM

Program Director
Executive Leadership | Forensic Interviewers

Karen Rush, Ph.D.

Program Director
Medical | Mental Health | Prevention

Pamela Heisler, MPA

Program Director
MDTs | Family Advocates | Evaluation

Carlarae Pelaez-Dubon

Project Coordinator
Administrative | Finance

Leigh Carpenter, BA

Project Coordinator
Technology | Training | Logistics

Contract Lobbyist

Oregon Child Abuse Solutions is well represented at our State Capitol by Dalton Advocacy. Dalton Advocacy is a female led and managed advocacy and association management firm that has built a reputation for delivering successful legislative and regulatory strategies, with a focus on personal client service and strong, open communication. During recent Legislative Sessions, OCAS has been working to increase awareness about the need for Children’s Advocacy Centers, best practices for serving children who have been victimized, and increasing state investment for these services. If you have questions about Oregon Child Abuse Solutions’ legislative efforts, please do not hesitate to contact our lobbyists:

image of Amanda Dalton

Amanda Dalton
(503) 884-0415

image of Sabrina Riggs

Sabrina Riggs
(503) 990-2484