Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Awards Recipients

Awards recognize those in San Joaquin County working to prevent child abuse and aid victims

The San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) and the San Joaquin Children's Services Coordinating Commission are pleased to announce the recipients of this year's Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Awards.

The awards reflect the dedication of the individuals and organizations in our community committed to improving the lives of children. Winners were recognized at the 23rd Annual Child Abuse Prevention Symposium on April 12 at the Stockton Hilton. The annual symposium brings together educators, social workers, law enforcement officers, nurses, advocates, therapists, and other professionals working in San Joaquin County to prevent child abuse and help its victims. Part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the symposium allows these professionals to learn and share strategies that will aid in their efforts throughout the year.


The symposium also offers an opportunity for those gathered to recognize and reward the excellence of their peers:

Kathie Dixon

Volunteer of the Year

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for more than a decade, Kathie Dixon has been an unassailable advocate for youth living in foster care. Her passion, kind and gentle demeanor, and overall commitment to improving the lives of children in foster care has made lasting impacts in many lives. She has introduced children to new experiences, taking them to museums, plays, the beach, new cities, and has even helped them participate in productions at the Stockton Civic Theater. She also worked tirelessly to reconnect separated siblings by driving long distances to keep them in contact. In one case, she was able locate and arrange a placement for siblings with an out-of-state family member. From there, she went to the siblings' new state to help with the transition and enroll them in school.


San Joaquin County Human Services Agency -- Child Protective Services Social Workers

Agency Program of the Year

No matter what the circumstances, the social workers from Child Protective Services have served on the front line for child abuse prevention and intervention. When the world locked down in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, social workers continued to conduct in-person investigations and home visitations with children and families. Despite the risks, they also traveled throughout the state and beyond to make sure children on their caseloads were receiving the care they needed. More recently, the program has responded and answered the need as the number of child abuse and referral cases have grown. Additionally, the number of youth with complex care needs has also increased. With each additional challenge, the program pushes forward to ensure children in the community are safe.


The Honorable Judge Anthony P.  Lucaccini

Service Employee of the Year

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Anthony P. Lucaccini has served vulnerable children in San Joaquin County for decades, with a career that began as a staff member at the Mary Graham Children's Center. Throughout that career he has been passionate about serving children and ensuring that the law is being followed to ensure their safety. He has had the opportunity to do so over his many years presiding over the Adoption and Juvenile Dependency calendar in San Joaquin County. Additionally, he has presided in the Prop. 1 Dependence Drug Court. Before his elevation to Superior Court, Judge Lucaccini sat on the Stockton Municipal Court.


Detective Alisha Cardenas

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Those who work with Detective Alisha Cardenas at the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office recognize her as a true protector of children. Over the past 11 years she has served many positions, from school resource officer to her current position as a child abuse sexual assault detective. In her current role, she has taken on many difficult and challenging cases, including the death of a 2-year-old girl who had died from an apparent fentanyl exposure in her home. Detective Cardenas' quick response led to an arrest and possibly saved the life of an infant who was removed from the home. She also reaches out to children who are potentially victims of sexual exploitation. With experience as a school resource officer and a parent, she is able to easily connect with children.


Please find photos of awardees, here:

Posted: 4/12/2023