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October 17, 2016
Governor awards grant to help victims of child abuse in St. Clair County

MONTGOMERY– Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $72,000 grant for services to aid abused children in St. Clair County.

The grant will help the St. Clair Children’s Advocacy Center continue providing services to children who have been abused and to family members and caregivers determined not to have been involved in the abuse. The center provides counseling services, advocates to prepare victims for court and assist with other needs and forensic interviewers to assist in abuse investigations.

“Access to professional and caring assistance is important for those recovering from an abusive situation,” Bentley said. “I commend the staff of the St. Clair Children’s Advocacy Center for the support they provide to those who have suffered from such a terrible crime.”

The model for children’s advocacy centers began in Huntsville and is designed to provide a safe place for children to tell their stories. The interviews are conducted by specially trained interviewers and recorded, alleviating the need for a child to recall the events of the abuse multiple times at various agencies.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation.

“Through our grant programs, ADECA partners with agencies like the St. Clair Children’s Advocacy Center to help ensure that when abuse happens, there is help available at no cost to victims,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “This assistance is vital as they take the first steps toward recovery.”

Along with grant funding, the agency relies on local, private donations to ensure services remain available to victims.

Bentley notified Billy Murray, the center’s board president, that the grant had been approved.

For more information on children’s advocacy centers, see this video ADECA produced for Child Abuse Awareness Month: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2AQjmQ3ZD8.


Contact: Josh Carples; Mike Presley

For more information, visit:  http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/