Good news outweighs the bad
As we reported in a story on page one of this issue, the Escambia County Regional Child Advocacy Center has recently received both good and bad news in the way of funding. But there's more good news for the Center and children in Escambia County.
The best news is that the Center's director Kathy Hill has committed herself to serving abused children in this area, and she has behind that commitment the support of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, the Escambia County Commission, Hope Place and I'm sure several other agencies in the county.
Grant funding can be a tough and finicky business. The application process is often exhausting, and a positive or negative funding decision can make or break an operation like the Child Advocacy Center.
The undeniable advantage of having a service like the Child Advocacy Center in this area is that it can make a substantial difference in a child's healing process after going through abuse.
The small green building which houses the Center across the street from the Sheriff's Office is a haven for an abused child, a place where the tragedy stops and the comfort and healing begin. Thanks to the system they have in place, once a child is identified as a victim of abuse, the child tells his story to Stephanie Jackson, forensic interviewer, and then he doesn't have to go through the painful process of repeating memories of his abuse with investigators, attorneys, judges.
The Center also helps prepare children for the judicial process they will go through as their abusers are prosecuted.
The collaborative process between the Child Advocacy Center, investigators, the district attorney and the court -- all with the intent of protecting the child and prosecuting the offender -- spell the best possible answer for a child's nightmare.
The Escambia County Regional Child Advocacy Center was born under the wing of Hope Place and was established through the determination and financial support of of people in this area who are dedicated to the well-being of Escambia County's children.
I have faith that those same people and more will do what it takes to keep the Center running through this time of funding disappointments.
The bad news is that there are enough children in this county suffering from abuse to warrant a service of this kind.
The good news is that there are also dedicated people here who are willing and able to address that need.
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