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Pike Regional CAC

The PRCAC covers four areas: Barbour, Bullock, Pike and Coffee counties.

In the spring of 2004, the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center achieved non-profit status and began receiving funding.

In spring 2005, the PRCAC was officially incorporated.

The primary child abuse prevention efforts of the PRCAC focus on the goal of educating the general public that is serviced by the PRCAC.

The secondary child abuse prevention efforts of the PRCAC focus on the goal of assisting those members of the community that require parenting and family strengthening resources to obtain them.

Camille Downing is the executive director.

The PRCAC runs mostly off grants, but also conducts fundraisers and receives donations from the Pike County community.

Every child who has a forensic interview at the PRCAC receives a teddy bear.

After a child has been interviewed, the PRCAC offers five in-house counseling sessions.

Troy University psychology students serve as mentors for the abused child.

Parenting classes are available for young mothers.

The PRCAC instructs teachers and interns on how to be mandatory reporters, people obligated by law to report suspected child abuse.

The PRCAC provides materials for "Good Touch- Bad Touch," an in-school prevention program taught to children in 2nd, 5th, and 7th grades.

National CAC

A Child Advocacy Center is a child-friendly place where child victims of abuse and their families can receive needed services such as crisis intervention, counseling and family support groups.

The National Children's Advocacy Center is located in Huntsville , Alabama, and there are over 500 children's advocacy centers in the United States.

The National Children's Advocacy Center tries to have centers located within 50 miles of each other.

Click here for the National CAC website.

Four Service Levels

Education, Training and Professional Services: this includes symposiums, educational outlets, training seminars and research tools.

Prevention: this includes school and home-based programs

Intervention: this is where the abuse is actually recognized and steps are taken to intervene.

Therapy: therapy is designed to help not only victims heal, but their families also.

The Interview Process

The school or other mandatory reporters contact the Department of Human Resources (DHR) first.

DHR then sends an investigator to talk to the child and determine the situation.

If abuse is confirmed, the victim is then referred to the PRCAC for interviewing.

The PRCAC will provide a child friendly environment designed to meet the needs of abused children and their families.

The PRCAC through a multi-disciplinary team of medical and mental health personnel, child protective services, prosecutors and law enforcement officers work together to bring the child abuse investigations to a successful disposition.

The multi-disciplinary approach will allow for professional interaction and input, without compromising the health and well-being of the child victim, as well as minimizing duplication services.

The interview is conducted by trained interviewers and recorded.

Several people are present to ensure that the child will only have to go through one interview

  • The district attorney
  • A DHR case worker
  • A police investigator
  • A medical examiner
  • A mental health specialist

Facts About Child Abuse

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS,) Administration for Children, Youth and Families, there were an estimated 2.9 million referrals alleging child abuse or neglect in the U.S. in 2003, with 906,000 determined to be victims of child abuse or neglect.

Types of maltreatment include: neglect (60%), physical abuse (20%), sexual abuse (10%), and emotional maltreatment (5%), as well as "other" types of maltreatment based on specific state laws and policies (17%) (USDHHS.)

From 2000 to 2003, there were 3,349 cases of abuse with 1,297 reports indicated, affecting a total of 1,738 children in Pike and the surrounding counties.

Of these cases, 26.6% involved sexual abuse, 35.3% involved physical abuse, 36.2% involved neglect, and 1.8% involved emotional abuse.

Nine out of 1,000 children under the age of 18 are found with indications of abuse per year in Pike County.

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