Child Protection Center Names ‘Child Advocate of the Year’

September 2, 2020

Child Protection Center Names ‘Child Advocate of the Year’- Danielle Hughes Awarded for 15 Years of Advocacy

The Child Protection Center (CPC) has named Danielle Hughes from the Child Protection Team (CPT) the ‘Child Advocate of the Year.’

“Quite simply, CPC and the families we serve are better off because of Danielle’s effort,” said Doug Staley, Executive Director of CPC. “She has the ability to look through the lens of what is in the best interest of children and then voices that through the child welfare system. There is nobody more deserving of this honor than Danielle Hughes.”

In her 15 years of advocacy at the Child Protection Center, Danielle has served as a child abuse expert. She is the Team Coordinator of the Child Protection Team, the only provider authorized by the state to perform its intervention services in Sarasota County. Danielle is also the founder of the PAWS (Pet Advocates Working in the Suncoast) Program, and additionally serves as a member of the Department of Health’s Quality Assurance Team, Critical Incident Rapid Response Team (CIRRT) Member, Child Death Review Member, Supervisor of the VOCA Victim Advocate/Administrative Duties, and past co-chair of the Sarasota County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). She is the first CPC employee to receive the honor of this award.

CPC typically would have presented this award at the 16th Annual Blue Ribbon Breakfast, but made the decision to postpone due to the rising concerns and regulations accompanying the coronavirus. The Breakfast is held each April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and honors members of the community who are committed to helping children and aiding CPC in the fight against child abuse. Heather Gardner, CPC’s Operations Program Administrator, said, “Danielle has worked tirelessly for over fifteen years to ensure that no child in our community is left at risk and that each family receives the support and intervention services they need to thrive. Our community is so fortunate to have her unrelenting dedication in our fight against child abuse!”

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