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Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Meet Lincoln’s Confidential Advocates

Julia Kohn-Brown and Katie Mahaffie are Lincolns two confidential advocates, they are not mandatory reporters, and are available to talk to in person on Thursdays.

Courtesy of Julia Kohn-Brown and Katie Mahaffie
Julia Kohn-Brown and Katie Mahaffie are Lincoln’s two confidential advocates, they are not mandatory reporters, and are available to talk to in person on Thursdays. Courtesy of Julia Kohn-Brown and Katie Mahaffie

Every teacher, administrator and adult in the school building is a mandatory reporter. This means that they are legally responsible to report, to either the local child welfare or law enforcement agency, if they deem a student is being abused or neglected. 

If a student would like to have a conversation and receive help from an adult who is not a mandatory reporter, they have access to two adults in the Lincoln building called confidential advocates. All nine Portland Public Schools (PPS) have confidential advocates available for students. 

Julia Kohn-Brown and Katie Mahaffie, Lincoln’s two confidential advocates, are employees of a non-profit, Raphael House. According to its website, “The mission of Raphael House is to engage our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.”

Kohn-Brown and Mahaffie are located in room 240AB every Thursday, and are available to talk to students. There are posters throughout the school describing the kind of work they do with students. The confidential advocates can help with “communicating boundaries, navigating power dynamics, relationship safety, self-care, supporting friends, practicing consent.” As well as finding help if you are struggling with physical, emotional and verbal abuse in a relationship

“We are not mandatory reporters and are bound to a specific confidentiality because we work for a domestic violence agency. Our role is to support students around relationships,” said Kohn-Brown.  

Confidential advocates are able to give students support as an adult who can listen and help students make more informed decisions and/or provide resources. 

“[Our goal is] showing up and supporting students how they want to be supported,” said Kohn-Brown.  

Mahaffie assures that they are always willing to work with students.

“We really approach the work with ‘no problem is too small,'” says Mahaffie.

Kohn-Brown and Mahaffie say that they are also able to meet students outside of school hours, if needed. They encourage students to feel free to reach out to them, whether that is stopping by their office to talk, or contacting them via call, email or text. 

 

Resources:

Katie Mahaffie

Julia Kohn-brown

For BIPOC (provides immediate crisis counseling): Blackline 1-800-604-5841

Youthline (teen to teen youth crisis and support): (877-968-8491)

For LGBTQ Youth (suicide prevention hotline): The Trevor Project (212-695-8650) 

Mental Health Club- every other Monday (B-day) room 433

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Millie is a sophomore this year. She is excited to learn how to be photo editor, and enjoys writing food and movie reviews.
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