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Jackson County Child Protection Center steps up to help families impacted by rally shooting

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Posted at 9:23 PM, Feb 21, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Child Protection Center says some people may think only those who were at the parade scene were impacted, but it can be much wider than that.

Dawn Clendenen-Moon, the director of clinical services at the center, says she's seen how the shooting has impacted those she helps serve.

“Just seeing this unfold, just having knowledge that this happened, just hearing about it, has an impact too," Clendenen-Moon said. “So, if you’re one of those people and you’re hearing about it at home or you’re watching the news and you’re noticing that, you feel that too; just know that that’s understandable and normal.”

The Jackson County Child Protection Center said usually, their therapy clients are referred from law enforcement departments or the Children’s Division.

Because the CPC specializes in working to address trauma, they said it only made sense for them to help in the events of the parade shooting.

On Wednesday, they opened their doors to give free therapy and resources to families after the parade shooting.

In recent days, their efforts have helped nearly two dozen families, but they’d like to reach more.

“Across the board, what we are hearing is that people are still in a sense of shock, and some people are realizing they feel some immense sadness that this is happening in our community,” Clendenen-Moon said.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker thanked her victim advocates.

“To the victim advocates in my office, God bless you, thank you, thank you, thank you," Peters Baker said. "[Those] Who took my call outside of the yellow tape from that moment on said 'Yes, I will do whatever is necessary.'"

Psychiatric experts in the Kansas City area are concerned for our community, especially how children may be thinking about it.

“We’ve heard from several parents about all their trauma responses and how traumatic it’s been for them," Clendenen-Moon said. “They are taking their kids to a family event, trying to provide a good time when you think it’s safe."

She says the impact and realization of it may take weeks or months, and that’s when recovery can happen.

“For kids and people — grownups too — it can be nightmares; it could be separation anxiety, really big feelings of sadness, anger, and fear," she said. “It can be more difficult to feel safe."

While Clendenen-Moon may be be worried about the ways the shooting would impact our community, she and her team knows there are ways through this.

For more events with a focus on free therapy and resources click this link.