18:00 PM

Ohio State Supports Child Abuse Prevention, Child-Advocacy Programs

The Ohio State University today announced it will donate dollars received from the Big Ten Conference to two local child-advocacy organizations, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Family Safety and Healing and the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Franklin County (CASA). This donation initiative stems from the Big Ten Conference's sanctions against Penn State. The university was required to relinquish funds it would have earned in bowl game revenue to the conference.

Each of the Big Ten's 12 member-schools were awarded a portion of Penn State’s nearly $2.3 million share of bowl revenue to donate to local charities that benefit children or to organizations that have a "child-focused cause" as part of their mission.

Ohio State will allocate $150,000 to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Family Safety and Healing and $31,344 to CASA.

"It is imperative that all of us work together to protect and enrich the lives of children everywhere," said Ohio State Interim President Joseph A. Alutto. "I am proud to join our colleagues in the Big Ten in this critical mission to safeguard our young people so they can lead healthy and productive lives."

The benefiting organizations chosen to receive funding by Ohio State cover a broad spectrum of services.

The Center for Family Safety and Healing at Nationwide Children's Hospital offers a continuum of services for victims of abuse from prevention through long-term therapy and support. The center was the first in the nation to combine domestic violence and child-abuse services so that children and their non-offending family members have a single safe place to seek help and rebuild their lives.

CASA, the only organization in Franklin County training individuals to advocate for children suffering from violent abuse and severe neglect, serves as a guardian ad litem agency for these victims. After screening and training, the all-volunteer corps of advocates become sworn officers of the court, looking out for the best interests of children.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith underscored the importance the two entities play in the community.

"It was an easy decision to fund the Center for Family Safety and Healing and CASA. They are powerhouse resources for families and children in crisis, and are so very worthy of community investment. The work they do is critically important to helping restore the lives of children and families in need. It is our hope that in supporting their incredible work, others will follow suit," Smith said.