Posted on Apr 18, 2018
Melody Jeter from the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) was our guest speaker this morning.  With April being Child Abuse Awareness Month it gave Ms. Jeter an opportunity to share information about the CAC.
In 1990, Kay Noelke, Community Liaison with the Texas Department of Human Services and Jackie Martin, a volunteer and former Investigator for Children's Protective Services, began working together to explore the concept of a community- based advocacy center for child victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. At that time, the various agencies investigating allegations of child abuse lacked effective coordination. Child victims were interviewed and re-interviewed at different locations by representatives of Children's Protective Services, law enforcement, district attorney's offices, and medical facilities. This uncoordinated investigative process often re-traumatized the very children these agencies sought to rescue. It was felt an advocacy center could bring all professionals together as a team to investigate allegations and provide services for children and families in a less institutional and more home-like environment.
 
There are now 5 Programs housed under CAC:
 
1. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
When home is no longer safe for a child, and the child must enter the foster care system, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer called a CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate. The volunteer’s focus is on the child, providing hope and help in guiding the child to a safe, permanent home.
 
2. Hope House
Historically, when responding to reports of child abuse and neglect, numerous problems have been encountered, including excessive interviews of child victims, development of physical evidence and lack of communication among involved agencies and individuals.
 
3. Family Enrichment Services (FES)
Parenting is not easy, and we all need help from time to time. Family Enrichment Services builds stronger families with its free services, which are offered in Tom Green, Concho and Runnels counties.
 
4. Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT)
Evaluates every child death in a 13-county region. The goal is to improve the response to child fatalities, while learning what can be done to prevent future child deaths from occurring. The CFRT strives to provide accurate information on how and why children in our area are dying.
 
5. Concho Valley Family Alliance
The Concho Family Alliance is a partnership between parents, agencies, business leaders, and other community residents committed to building a unified community that strengthens families.
 
For more information please go to www.cactomgreen.org
 
Thanks, Melody, for being with us this morning!
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