New guidelines in use to help abused children - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New guidelines in use to help abused children

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) – A partnership between south Georgia agencies who handle child abuse cases will help them communicate better and protect children.

On Wednesday afternoon at the Sumter County courthouse, twelve agencies signed a new Sumter County child abuse protocol.

The 80-page document sets rules for how agencies respond to and investigate allegations of child abuse.

Supporters say having everyone on the same page will make it easier to get justice for young victims.

"DEFACS cannot do it alone it takes cooperation from mental health, the school system, the DA, and law enforcement," Lodia Waters, Sumter County DEFACS Interim Director.

"Each of our roles has an impact on the other, DEFACS investigation can impact the criminal prosecution," Judge Lisa Jones, Southwestern Judicial Circuit.

The Sumter County Protocol was created two years before a state mandate in the 80s.

It had not been revised in more than ten years.

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