In 1997, Dr. Ebert F. Cicenia came together with a group of local residents after realizing the need for critical services for abused children during times of family crisis.

Dr. Cicenia and others worked tirelessly to ensure that this would become a reality as they embraced the need for a children’s advocacy center in Dorchester County. Through his personal commitment, dedication, and his service through the Summerville Rotary Club, Dr. Cicenia dedicated his life to serving others and in turn set an example for all of us.

In appreciation of his tireless efforts, Children In Crisis in Dorchester County, Inc., established the Bert Cicenia Award. This award is presented annually to a person who has helped to improve the lives of abused and neglected children in the Low Country.

This year the Bert Cicenia Award is presented to State Representative Chris Murphy and State Senator Sean Bennett.

In this challenging profession of advocating for excellence in systems designed to help child abuse victims, it takes many avenues to ensure that we are doing our absolute best in the field of child advocacy. Therefore, it takes great leaders in our State House and Senate to care! And Rep Chris Murphy and Senator Sean Bennett have been just that! Great Leaders who care about the welfare of children and families in South Carolina. We call on their leadership regularly to support bills that make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children in SC, as well as those children at-risk for abuse.

They both have been instrumental in supporting legislation to help the lives of children and families in South Carolina; And Most Recently, they were instrumental in the passing of the South Carolina Child Abuse Response Protocol, which is a statewide protocol that mandates all agencies involved in the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse, work together for the best outcomes for children and families, and therefore ensures that across South Carolina, all child abuse victims will receive continued advocacy and referrals for specialized mental health and specialized medical services. It is through this protocol, that child victims and their families can find comfort, healing, and justice!

Dr. Phillips, Executive Director of Children In Crisis, stated, “We are grateful to Rep. Murphy and Senator Bennett for their great leadership and their continuation of support of Children and families in South Carolina!”