Center has new child advocate
The Board of Directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southeastern Indiana, Dillsboro, has a new child advocate.
In November, Jessica Whitham began in her new role as the agency’s second full-time Child & Family Advocate.
Whitham comes to the CAC with valuable experience in the child protection field as she was previously employed with the Indiana Department of Child Services (Switzerland County) as a Family Case Manager for the past 10 years.
This new position was made possible, in part, due to a significant increase in the center’s funding from a Victim of Crime Act grant through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
Previously, the center had been allocated more than $124,000 from ICJI for the 2016-2018 grant period.
More recently, the CAC was able to substantially increase that amount to over $295,000 for the new 2018-2020 grant cycle. VOCA contributes 80 percent of the funding while the CAC is required to match 20 percent of the dollar amount.
The role of a child and family advocate is to meet with the families at the center to explain the investigative process, answer questions, help connect them to community resources as well as provide follow-up afterwards.
“It has been a significant challenge for one advocate to meet all the needs of approximately 500 children and families each year,” said Board President Tom Baxter. “This new and tremendous support from ICJI will allow our CAC to better serve children and families in our area,” concluded Baxter.
The CAC is a nonprofit corporation created in 2009 to minimize the trauma suffered by alleged victims of child abuse in a neutral and comfortable setting.
The center is specifically designed to use a multidisciplinary team approach which facilitates the prevention, detection, investigation and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
Thus far, the center has served over 3,800 children from more than 32 different counties and multiple states. The center serves, on average, approximately 500 children each year from Southeastern Indiana.
The CAC’s annual “Mardi Gras” fundraiser will be coming up Feb. 23, at The Lawrenceburg Event Center.
The night typically attracts more than 500 guests and will include a dinner, live band, silent auction as well as a competitive King & Queen contest.
For more information on the event or if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, feel free to contact the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southeastern Indiana at 12211 Rullman Drive in Dillsboro, IN 47018.
For more information call 1-812-432-3200 or visit www.cacsoutheast.org.