Session 1C: Winning Strategies to Engage Elected Officials to Work for Your CAC
Track: Advocacy and Communications
CACs are a natural fit to work with elected officials, however, many CAC leaders do not have the experience or confidence to develop these crucial relationships. Mission Kids CAC has successfully created partnerships with local representatives, state legislators, and congressional leaders, resulting in improved funding and legislation. We'll share how we successfully developed and sustain these relationships, and how all CACs can have equal success.
Abbie Newman, R.N., J.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County
Abbie Newman, RN, JD, began her professional career as a registered nurse specializing in pediatrics. She became a lawyer, and for 19 years focused her practice on defense of medical malpractice lawsuits. In 2008 Abbie became the founding Executive Director of Mission Kids CAC in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and CEO in 2018. Mission Kids is a Nationally Accredited CAC, which has served 6,000 children ages verbal-17, and worked to expand and support CACs across Pennsylvania. In recent years Mission Kids has become a leader in Pennsylvania in developing responses to CSEC victims and working with stakeholders across the Commonwealth for the best interests of these victims. Ms. Newman served as Vice-President and then President of the Pennsylvania State Chapter of Child Advocacy Centers from 2010-2014 and is currently the Chair of the External Affairs Committee of the PA State Chapter Board of Directors. She has received bi-partisan gubernatorial appointments to serve on the Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund Board; the Victim Services Advisory Committee, charged with awarding VOCA funds to victim agencies across Pennsylvania; and the Child Advocacy Center Advisory Committee. She has testified before the United States Budget Committee on the needs and benefits of CACs and has mentored numerous counties to develop CACs of their own. Ms. Newman has presented nationally and internationally on topics concerning child sexual abuse and developing a collaborative response to child abuse, and has developed several international partnerships to best respond to child abuse on a global level.
Leslie Slingsby, LSW
Mission Kids CAC
Leslie Slingsby, LSW, is the Executive Director of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. She has a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in non-profit management and social policy from the University of Michigan. Previously, she was the first Continuous Quality Improvement Manager for Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency. Prior to her experience in public child welfare, she was the founding Director of the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center. In addition, Leslie has over a decade of experience in victim services overseeing mental health services, legal and medical advocacy, crisis hotline and cyber services. She has been responsible for implementing and monitoring several state and federal grant projects and assisted with the coordination of several local program initiatives involving partnership including Fatality/Near Fatality Review Team, Child Death Review Team, Sexual Assault Response Team, the Crimes against Older Adults Task Force and the Domestic Abuse Fatality Review Team.