Kentucky Bar Foundation Funds Nationally-Recognized Training at Kentucky Children's Advocacy Centers

The Kentucky Association of Children’s Advocacy Centers received a 2015 grant to prepare “Your Guide to Kentucky’s Children’s Advocacy Centers.” The Guide is used to train CAC staff, as well as local multidisciplinary teams including law enforcement, social services, medical professionals, therapists, and prosecutors. Through this training, CACs across Kentucky have been able to make life-changing differences in the lives of Kentucky children and families.

In 2015, the Kentucky Bar Foundation awarded $10,000 to the Kentucky Association of Children’s Advocacy Centers (KACAC) to prepare “Your Guide to Kentucky’s Children’s Advocacy Centers.”  The guide has generated positive feedback on a national scale and was recently published on the members section of the National Children’s Alliance website as a model publication for Children’s Advocacy Centers.  An electronic copy of the guide is available here.

The Director of the Northern Kentucky Children's Advocacy Center (NKCAC) and others use KACAC's Guide to train their staff as well as the local multidisciplinary team consisting of law enforcement, social services, medical professionals, therapists, and prosecutors. Through this training, the NKCAC team is able to provide coordinated support that makes a life-changing difference in the lives of families like this one:

Last fall, a mother called the police after being told by her seven-year-old daughter that her father was sexually abusing both her and her sister.  The police immediately called the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center, and forensic interviews were scheduled for the girls that same day. The family was greeted at the front door, a movie was selected by the children to watch, and mom met with the family advocate to complete the intake forms.  Next, the forensic interviewer, who is trained in talking with children who have been abused, greeted the girls and interviewed them one at a time.  While the children were being interviewed, law enforcement and social services viewed the interviews in the observation room while the interview was also being recorded.  The family advocate completed crisis counseling and provided education about trauma and therapy to the mother while the girls were being interviewed.  As the interviews were completed and each of the girls made disclosures of specific acts of abuse, the family advocate assessed that there were openings with the NKCAC’s specially trained therapist to set the girls on a path of healing.

Like clockwork, the CAC team came together to do what they do every day:  help children share their stories of pain, suffering, and betrayal.

The following week, NKCAC started very specific counseling, Evidence Based Trauma Focused Mental Health Treatment, for the girls with NKCAC's trained therapist.  This type of counseling has been supported by research as to its effectiveness in dealing with victims who have experienced trauma from abuse.  The therapy provided allows each child to process the specific aspects of the trauma experienced and to develop coping skills allowing them in-depth abilities to function as they grow.  In addition to individual therapy with the children, the NKCAC therapist also referred the mother to a therapist to cope with the secondary trauma she was also experiencing. 

Through the training provided to the NKCAC team made possible by a grant from the Kentucky Bar Foundation, these two girls received expertly coordinated care and are now safely on the road to healing.  It is a special honor for the Foundation to support Children's Advocacy Centers across the state as they transform families from broken to healing and ultimately help restore them to wholeness.

Pictured below are child protective workers, prosecutors, doctors, therapists, and members of the law enforcement community from the Barren River Area Development District who participated in a training at the Barren River Children's Advocacy Center using the guide funded by a KBF grant.

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