BRIGHTER WORLDChild Advocacy Center
Advocates of Routt County is currently working with a multi-county task force to open the Brighter World – Child Advocacy Center for our community.
A Children’s Advocacy Center (“CAC”) is a child-friendly facility that offers safety, security, and a wide range of victim services for kids and families exposed to violence or abuse. These community-based centers are staffed with professional first responders for allegations and all types of child abuse, providing direct services to children in need or in crisis. CAC services reduce the impact of child abuse by coordinating law enforcement, criminal justice, child protection, forensic interviewers, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals to provide services simultaneously. Brighter World CAC provides a comfortable setting to investigate abuse, hold offenders accountable, and – most importantly – help children begin healing from the trauma of abuse.
Evidence has proven CAC’s:
- serve as an efficient and cost-effective child abuse response;
- increase the rates of prosecution;
- reduce the length of time to deposition in child abuse cases;
- increase the likelihood that affected children receive medical care;
- improve a child-victim’s access to mental health treatment;
- provide parental/caregiver greater satisfaction in the investigation and prosecution processes involving their child(ren).
FUNDRAISING GOAL: $350,000
Make a long-lasting impact on our community through your donation. Make an Impact; donors will have name recognition within the building.
Empower youth and the community with your donation. Empower donors will be recognized on our donor tree.
Help create change through your donation. Change donors will be recognized on our donor tree.
Help support youth through your donation. Support donations will be recognized one our website as a donor.
HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Approximately 1 in 5 children in the United States experience some form of abuse and/or neglect in their lifetime. Our community is no exception, with approximately 80 cases of serious child abuse investigated each year. Out of 22 judicial districts in Colorado, our is 1 of 4 that does not yet have a CAC. Communities across the country establish a Child Advocacy Center because they provide child-victims and their families:
Just one forensic interview and medical exam
An interviewer trained specifically to work with children
Immediate access to information, resources, and referrals for the family
A CAC provides a safe and comfortable space for children who are involved in an abuse or neglect investigation, which greatly assists law enforcement and other services. Also, follow-up services offered through the CAC greatly assist those same children as they move from being victims to become ‘survivors’.
Child Advocacy Centers are designed to prevent a child from being re-traumatized by the systems that are supposed to protect them.
Having access to a local Child Advocacy Center is a requirement for any high-quality response to crimes involving children. It is long past due for this jurisdiction to have a CAC that provides crucial services in one location close to the child’s home.
Noah walks into the Brighter World Child Advocacy Center. He doesn’t want to be there – who would? But Noah has been sexually assaulted by his stepfather and the police are already involved.
The District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Human Services need statements and physical examinations. The Court process is looming. Noah just wants to be safe at home with his dad and stepmom.
Last year, Noah’s parents would’ve had to take him far from our community – to Glenwood Springs, Summit County, maybe Denver – to access professionals with the training and resources to best help him. Instead, the Brighter World CAC will give Noah everything he needs in this traumatic time right here, close to home.
As Noah enters the child-friendly Center, he is welcomed into a room with bright colors, toys, and a big comfy couch. The people here are kind and treat him with warmth and understanding. He’s scared, but maybe this won’t be so bad.
Last year, Noah would have been interviewed multiple times by policemen, lawyers, social workers, and medical professionals in stark, unfamiliar office spaces. This year, however, at Brighter World Noah is introduced to a kind woman who helps him and his family understand what to expect. This woman is specially trained to listen to him about what happened. Then he meets another kind child specialist for an exam to make sure he is okay physically as well.
Noah learns that his story would be videotaped, so he wouldn’t have to repeat it multiple times. He learned that more people who care about him, a detective and a caseworker, would be watching from another room so they could help him too. He’s comforted that the first woman he met remains with his family answering questions and taking care of them while he’s interviewed and examined.
Noah didn’t want to be there that day, who would? But when he walked out of the CAC, he felt cared for through the toughest part and truly believed the healing process had already begun.