MONTGOMERY– Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $159,326 grant to help a nonprofit organization enhance services for child abuse victims in Alabama.
The grant to the Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers will help fund a victim advocate to assist child abuse victims directly and a training coordinator that will assist the 29 children’s advocacy centers across Alabama who offer services to victims and their families. Funding also will assist with a statewide case tracking system and the development of training curriculum.
“Having professional, well-trained and caring people to step in and help when a child endures the horrors of abuse is crucial for the recovery process to begin,” Bentley said. “I commend the Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers and the individual centers they serve for providing care for abused children.”
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 can be 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 partners with the Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, as well as the individual centers they serve, to ensure that care is available to victims 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “With April being Child Abuse Prevention Month, it is a perfect time to remind people of the free, professional help available across the state for children who have suffered from abuse.”
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation.
Bentley notified Jim Ed Clayton, president of the network’s board, that the grant had been approved.
For more information on the network and its services, visit www.alabamacacs.org, and for a video about Child Abuse Prevention Month, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2AQjmQ3ZD8.
April is both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Find more information on ADECA’s website: http://adeca.alabama.gov/Divisions/lets/Pages/april.aspx.
Contact: Josh Carples; Mike Presley