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Klamath-Lake CARES is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Union Pacific Railroad Community Ties Giving Program, which will help offset lost revenue due to a drop in cases during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders from March 15-May 15, according to a news release.

CARES' freestanding clinic at Washburn Way and Crosby Avenue remained fully staffed during the pandemic, forming two complete teams of medical examiners, forensic interviewers, intake coordinators and child advocates who alternated working at the clinic and from home until restrictions were lifted.

Because children and youth were isolated at home during quarantine, potential abuse could not be detected by or disclosed to school officials, healthcare professionals, peers or others. Reports of child abuse by family or neighbors which came to CARES during isolation were sudden, emergent and severe, usually connected to domestic partner abuse. However, because the total number of referrals for medical exams and interviews declined during the two months, reimbursements by state and private insurance also dropped.

"Now that Klamath and Lake Counties are reopening, the stresses of isolation and unemployment are resulting in a spike in potential child abuse examinations," said CARES Executive Director Ken Morton. "CARES must maintain the staffing capacity to assist as many as 350 children a year, because the number of assessments each year has approached 350 for four of the last five years."

Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program provides small- and medium-sized grants that align with the railroad’s priority cause areas in safety, workforce development and community spaces. CARES aligned with UP's Safety priority by objectively determining if child abuse has occurred, and keeping children and youth safe from abuse.

“We understand every community has its own unique needs,” said Scott Moore, senior vice president-Corporate Relations and chief administrative officer, and Union Pacific Foundation President. “This funding will go directly to those hardest impacted, providing the assistance they need to survive and recover from the outbreak.”