On April 26, members of the community gathered at A Child’s Voice Child Advocacy Center in Social Circle to celebrate the latest expansion of the center to better serve children in the Walton and Newton County communities. A Child’s Voice is a “non-profit organization that provides: forensic interviews by specially trained interviewers; forensic medical examinations (when needed) utilizing tele-medicine with Chidren’s Healthcare of Atlanta; family advocacy services; and community outreach, including trainings and education.”
A Child’s Voice CAC began operating in Walton County in 2009 in the Ministry Village in Loganville and has since grown significantly, the latest expansion being the purchase of the second building in the professional center at 216 Brookstone Place in Social Circle, Ga.
Members of A Child’s Voice CAC staff and Board were on hand last week for the Ribbon Cutting and Open House to give the public an opportunity to see the benefits of the center to children in the community. It gives children who have been abused a safe and welcoming place to be interviewed for prosecution of the perpetrators and to be given counseling to help them deal with the trauma.
Alcovy Circuit Court District Attorney Randy McGinley spoke on the services offered by the center and gave the example of a recent case where the five children who witnessed a murder in Monroe were able to come to the center for debriefing instead of being interviewed at a police station.
“An awful case here that Monroe Police Department worked on. It was a terrible case – it illustrates the kind of things why this organization is so great. We had in this community where five kids who saw probably the worst thing that is ever imaginable came here and were interviewed here. And it’s not just for the purposes of the case but it is also for those kids going forward, for their own peace of mind. This organization does so much.”
McGinley said children as young as 2 up to 18 and even adults with developmental disabilities can be interviewed at a Child’s Voice. Members of law enforcement are able to sit in an adjoining room with video surveillance as a forensic counselor is able to question the victims in a more tranquil and welcoming environment than a police station would afford them.
You can listen to McGinley’s whole speech as well as meet the other staff members and board members and hear a little more about the CAC at this link – its beginnings and the blessing it has been and continues to be to the children in the Walton and Newton county communities.
After the Ribbon Cutting, attendees were given the opportunity to tour both facilities and were treated to refreshments.
More about a Child’s Voice Advocacy Center
A Child’s Voice, serving Walton and Newton counties, is a child advocacy center designed to meet the needs of children who are victims of sexual or physical abuse or neglect. A Child’s Voice is a facility supplied with state-of-the-art equipment that enables specially trained professionals to conduct effective, consistent, non-threatening forensic interviews and medical examinations of children who have made these allegations. The organization coordinates the utilization of multi-disciplinary team approach to the investigation, treatment, and prevention of child sexual abuse and physical abuse. The main focus at A Child’s Voice is the child. As such, the environment is completely child-friendly and accessible. There is an area available for children to play, stocked with a variety of age appropriate toys and activities. The specially trained professional (forensic interviewers) conduct an interview with the child victim. Interviews are videotaped to avoid multiple interviews and preserves the statement for court purposes. The center also conducts forensic medical examinations by qualified professionals and also provides family support services, including making referrals to licensed therapists for counseling for children and their families. (Per The Child’s Voice CAC website)
Learn more about A Child’s Voice Child Advocacy Center in the Youtube below.