Conversations with Dominic Carter

Child Abuse, Foster Care, and the Folks that are Saving Lives

October 03, 2021 Dominic Carter Season 1 Episode 6
Conversations with Dominic Carter
Child Abuse, Foster Care, and the Folks that are Saving Lives
Show Notes Transcript

The subject of Child Abuse,  Foster Care, and Mental Illness are VERY important for Dominic Carter.  One aspect of Dominic's life is as  a Political Commentator in New York.  The other is that he had to endure all three:  Child Abuse, Foster Care, and Mental Illness.  Dominic's father was never in his life, and his mother suffered from Mental Illness, diagnosed with "Chronic Paranoid  Schizophrenia."  Dominic's mother  spent years in and out of state psychiatric hospitals. Dominic Carter was just recently the 2021 keynote speaker in Salina Kansas for a group that is doing remarkable work for the community.  It is called "CAPS of Salina-Strengthening Families and Improving Lives."  They held their 2021 "Every Child Matters Banquet, " and Dominic had tears of joy touring their facilities, as it relates to the services  that are now available for Children that are sexually abused, and the time out sessions/breaks that they provide for parents once a week with young children  for a few hours where the program babysits the kids, for the parents to have 3 hours to exhale. All services are free to the public.  (Some of their programs:  Chris’s Place Child Advocacy Center, CASA program,  and Family Mentoring)  In this episode, Dominic in Salina Kansas talks to the CAPS Community Engagement Coordinator Lora Kirmer.   The Executive Director of CAPS is a remarkable administrator, Lori Blake.  You can find out more about Dominic Carter's book/and can order it by clicking here.


  

Announcer

0:03

We all know and love him. Our host Dominic Carter has moderated debates with Hillary Clinton, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and even interviewed Nelson Mandela. Here was our host political commentator, Dominic Carter.

DC

Dominic Carter

0:22

I am coming to you from the great state of Kansas, Salina, Kansas to be exact. Those of you that listen to me weeknights on talk radio 77 WABC in New York. Now, that's one aspect of my life. But the other is my book on my life titled no mama's boy, which is all about growing up poor in New York City, and housing projects on welfare. No father in my life, the topic of childhood sexual abuse, and my mother suffered from severe mental illness diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia. I was in Kansas as the keynote, or a wonderful program here, doing tremendous work with the community. It's better known as Caps and Lora  Kirma is the community engagement coordinator for caps. And the executive director is a wonderful person. Her name is Laurie Blake. So Lora Kirma..Caps is about in the organization's words, "Strengthening Families and improving Children's lives." Talk to us about that?

LK

Lora Kirmer


1:33

Thank you, Dominic, for having me. Yes, Caps is about Strengthening Families creating the best world we can for children, our vision is to create a world where every child, every family is safe, healthy, and strong. And so all of our services are geared towards improving family relationships, whatever that family dynamic may be, because we all know that not all families are, you know, mom, dad, and child, it can be grandma, grandpa, it can be aunt who's taken on her niece and nephew. So whatever that family dynamic is, we're here to improve those relationships. We're here to provide support. And we're here to make sure that that child, and all of the children in our community grow up safe, healthy and strong.

DC

Dominic Carter

2:17

So I toured the office and the facilities that you have here, and Selena for children, for families. And it almost brought me to tears, but tears of joy, to point out the progress that's being made to when parents, for example, as your executive director showed me, when parents are stressed out, and I need a timeout, rather than doing something to take it out on the child to help the child, they can bring their child here for a three hour time period. And the parent gets a timeout, while the child is being taken care of. and a great way here at the center. I mean, it is just phenomenal. It is phenomenal the tour that I was able to see this facility, I know you deal with this every day, because you work here, but how does it feel to be associated with the program like this,

LK

Lora Kirmer


3:13

it is so empowering to know that you're part of a team that I am part of a team that is here to better people's lives. And then I get to hear all the impact stories that we have. So you know, families tell us, you know, your family mentoring program really, really changed the dynamic of my family. It created a healthy relationship between me and my stepchildren. And it was a basis for for us growing better as a family now we're, you know, just so happy or parents who have used our respite care, which is the program you're talking about the three hour break, we had one mom who her children aged out, because we only do eight weeks to five years. And she said for every Tuesday for five years, she went and watched a movie. And that was her self care time. And she said to have that when you have like a child like a newborn all the way up to where it enters school just to have that one break a week to gather your breath to gather your thoughts. She said that that's really what helped her make it through those early years and that it doesn't exist smile inside and out knowing that we are providing that service to family and

DC

Dominic Carter

4:23

for folks, obviously they can't see you right now but you have a million dollar smile on your face. Lora right now. I was the keynote of your 2021 every child matters fundraising banquet. It was not held in 2020 because of our COVID the fundraising effort to a degree is life or death for the caps program. Because again, based on Salina, Kansas, because and please confirm this for me is it true that all services are free to the public. You provide here in Kansas,

LK

Lora Kirmer


5:02

yes, all of our services are free. We are funded by our community by the generous donations of the community. And then also just you know, some grants because we are a nonprofit. But that's really where we get our, our funding from. It is members who see our work who are impacted by our work, who want to make sure that we can keep doing this work. And so all of our services are free, because we want to make sure that those who need it can get it.

DC

Dominic Carter

5:28

Now talk to me about some of the programs that caps here in Salina, Kansas, that you actually run. Let's start with  CASA

LK

Lora Kirmer


5:38

great, yes, so um, first I'll say that caps is an umbrella organization for eight programs. That's, that's a lot under one roof, APR, eight programs. And so casa, stands for Court Appointed Special advocates, these are community volunteers that are trained by our Casa director and our casas volunteer supervisors, to advocate for children in the foster care system in court, they're safe adult for children to look up to, to know that that adult is 110%. On that kid side, they don't have the interest of the parents, they don't have the interest of the judge it is they are there to represent the child in courts, the child does not have to continue to go to court and they are there to make sure that the child's voice is heard. Because sometimes you're not always heard in court. And so that way the the cost of volunteer is that representative to make sure that the child is getting what they need, and also what they want.

DC

Dominic Carter

6:32

There are Child Advocacy Centers all across the country, Canada, all across the world. Yours here in Kansas, and Salina is titled Chris's place. What is the child Advocacy Center?

LK

Lora Kirmer


6:47

So the Child Advocacy Center is a very unique and special center. And as you said, they are all across the United States. But they're places for children who have experienced abuse, to be interviewed in a safe space. So they don't have to do it in a police room or in a hospital, we are very lucky to have our own exam room and a specific sexual assault nurse examiner on call so that we can do our own child friendly exams for children who have been sexually abused for children who have experienced violent domestic abuse. And then we have a forensic interviewer, who then will interview the child in a child friendly place. And that interview interview is the only interview that child has to do then about the abuse they either witnessed or experienced because we also interviewed children who have maybe witnessed abuse or have been drugged in danger or exposed to things like pornography. And that way they don't have to continue to retell that story in multiple interviews. So that interview all the law enforcement and those who need to hear it will hear it from us, we have the equipment for them to have that recorded privately. And then we also have victim advocates in the child Advocacy Center. victim advocates make sure that the victims get the therapy they need. They accompany them to court, they help them through paperwork, they really help them process, what they went through, and what the next steps are to take back their life.

DC

Dominic Carter

8:17

Now I'm closing here Is there anything that I did not ask you that you feel needs to be said, regarding caps here in Salina, Kansas,

LK

Lora Kirmer


8:29

I would just really like to hit on our family mentoring program, because that is one of our biggest programs. It provides parenting education. It provides home visits and stabilization to help families just re become a unit and heal or just strengthen their communication. Of course, we have other programs I didn't talk about and I can talk all day about them. But you can also just visit our website caps of solana.org and read all about them read the testimonies, see the videos, just everything that we have to offer the community, which again, and you see me smiling. It's amazing what we offer and the fact that we offer it for free to these families who need it and make it welcoming so that families feel comfortable taking advantage of our of what we can give them is just great work. And I'm so glad that we can offer it here in little Kansas. So....

DC

Dominic Carter

9:20

Lora, the bottom line is you're a little modest, you're smiling, but you're you're modest and everybody that I've met that I did meet here in Kansas at CAPS, very modest. But you folks are doing God's work. There is no other way to say it. You're saving lives. You're helping children so they can grow up and have a healthy, normal life as opposed to a dysfunctional life. And the stigmas that go along with child sexual abuse and abuse and so on. And so for folks that may want to help out with a small donation from around the country from around Canada from around the world, how can they make a donation? How can they help? How can I reach you folks? At CAPS?

LK

Lora Kirmer


10:13

Great question. They can reach us at caps of salina.org. We have a donation page there, you can submit through our PayPal, you can call us at 785-825-4493 and request to make a donation through there. We'll help you do that you can write to us, our address is 155. North Oakdale  a l e. suite 200. In Salina, Kansas 67401 or you can email us caps at [email protected]

DC

Dominic Carter

10:48

Okay, so I want to close this way, Lora. You went to college in Kansas?

LK

Lora Kirmer

10:53

I did. Okay.

DC

Dominic Carter

10:54

Where'd you go to school?

LK

Lora Kirmer


10:56

I went to McPherson college for my undergraduate degree and K state for my graduate degree

DC

Dominic Carter

11:00

Is K state the one with the best...the big basketball team. 

LK

Lora Kirmer


11:04

No that's k U. That's k u. k state is purple. And we love our football.

DC

Dominic Carter

11:08

Ah, so you guys are big on football. Yeah. Okay. You love your football. So I close this way. Why do you do what you do?

LK

Lora Kirmer


11:20

I have a big heart really is what it comes down to is that I need to feel fulfilled in my career. And I can only do that at a place like caps. Where our work is so fulfilling. It's hard work. But it is needed work. And it's never a dull day.

DC

Dominic Carter

11:38

Well, I thank you, Laura karma for doing what you do for joining us to discuss the program here in Kansas. It is just remarkable. And Salina for the work that you folks are doing, you are a vital part of the community. Thank you very much for joining us.

LK

Lora Kirmer

11:58

Thank you, Dominic.

DC

Dominic Carter

11:59

And by the way, you only made one error, you only made one error. You can't have a better radio voice than I do. And you do. So that's the only mistake that you made. I'm only joking. Thank you very much. And if you folks want to find out more about me the part of my life that pertains to child abuse, foster care, and childhood sexual abuse. You can also go to my book website, nomommasboy.com where you can also order copies of my book. Always, always, always stay positive, never negative!!! The glass should always be half full from Salina, Kansas be well, and I will see you folks the next time.

A

Announcer

12:49

Join us next time for conversations with Dominic Carter reached out to Dominic on Twitter at @DominicTV. Dominic looks forward to hearing from you. Thank you for joining us.