Child advocacy center is up and running -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Child advocacy center is up and running

August 30, 2007

Cairo-- For Diane Chason, getting the child advocacy center up and running was personal.  "I will never have a chance to have children because of an abuser," she says.  Also having lost loved ones to acts of violence, Chason knew there was a need, and wanted to be a part of making it happen.

"Kids have to travel so far to get the help that they needed. This gives them the opportunity not to have to take them so far," Chason explains.  A large donation from she and her husband took the center from the dream it was 2 years ago, to the reality it is today.

"Unfortunately we have a lot of child abuse cases in the circuit and there's just the need for it," says executive director of the child advocacy center, Tina Green.  She came to the center after working as an investigator for Decatur county.   "At the sheriff's office I investigated a lot of crimes against children cases, child abuse cases, and I just got interested and wanted to work more with the children than the offenders," Green says.

Her goal for the center is to make the aftermath of abuse much smoother for a child.  "Right now we're going to provide the videotape and audiotape forensic interviews," Green explians.  These will be conducted in a kid-friendly, nurturing environment.  "They feel safe they feel comfortable and that's the whole goal we were reaching for," adds District Attorney Joe Mulholland.

Eventually nurses, specifically trained in sexual assault, SANE nurses will be able to preform exams in a room right there at the child advocacy center.  Making the whole experience over more quickly, and with a lot less pain.

And easier for law enforcers and prosecutors going after the bad guys.  Mulholland says, "People doing the interviews will be local, so I'll know them. They'll be able to work with all the local enterprises together and local law enforcement. It's really going to make a big difference."  A big difference in each and every child's life who passes through here.

The child advocacy center will serve the entire south Georgia judicial circuit. That encompasses Decatur, Grady, Mitchell, Baker and Calhoun Counties.  Before now, the closest child advocacy center was the Sunshine center here in Albany.