The Child Advocacy Center of Southeast Indiana (CACSEI) has received a $441,509 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to open a new satellite Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Decatur County later this year. It is the second time the Office has awarded a grant to CACSI. The first was in 2009 and helped establish the inaugural Center in Dillsboro.
The satellite CAC will help law enforcement, Department of Child Services Caseworkers, victim advocates, and Prosecutors investigate alleged child abuse cases. The Center is a neutral, child-first facility with a proven record of helping child victims begin to heal.
The team of professionals, called a multidisciplinary team (MDT), will use space purchased at 1516 W Main Street in Greensburg. “We interview about 75 kids a year just from around Decatur County,” says Stephanie Back, Executive Director of the CAC of Southeast Indiana. “We anticipate and are prepared for that number to double or triple within a year, like our Madison location has,” she adds.
A satellite CAC is like a part-time Center, used when needed and staffed by members of the CAC’s Dillsboro headquarters. A similar satellite CAC has been operating in Madison, Ind. since 2015.
The satellite CAC will be equipped like any other CAC with discreet video and audio recording for forensic interviews, enhanced privacy for families and MDT members, and will offer connections to victim advocacy, community help, mental and physical health screenings, and more.
“Satellite CACs shorten commutes for kids and families in crisis without over-extending budgets,” says Kelly Bridges, the lead forensic interviewer at the CAC of SE Indiana. “A child who has been abused and a non-offending caregiver should never have to drive over an hour to get help. This new location will close that gap.”
“With the Greensburg location, Indiana’s total coverage expands, plus drive-times get lower and more community-focused. Greensburg expands the number of satellite CACs in Indiana to five,” says Jan Lutz, Executive Director of the Indiana Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. The Chapter consulted and assisted CAC of SE Indiana on the grant.
“Continued funding for the satellite CAC will come from grants, but also community support,” says Back. The annual Mardi Gras fundraiser to support the CAC and its two satellite locations is happening February 23rd at the Lawrenceburg Event Center.