CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that he has awarded $2,118,677 in Child Advocacy Center grant program funds to 22 projects. These funds are awarded to local nonprofit Child Advocacy Centers throughout the state to address the growing problem of child abuse and neglect. Gov. Justice’s awards are focused on a multidisciplinary response to investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases by providing such services as advocacy, education, forensic interviews, evaluations, and referrals.
“Severe cases of abuse and neglect are among the most horrific things you could ever imagine happening to a child,” Gov. Justice said. “I have so much pride in this program because it helps us bring whoever would do these kinds of things to kids to justice.”
The West Virginia Legislature reappropriated funding to implement a system of child advocacy centers throughout the state. This funding is intended to provide grant relief to be passed through the Justice and Community Services section of the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services to those child advocacy centers in need of supplemental financial assistance.
“I’ve said so many times that our children are the greatest treasure we have in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “We need to do everything we can to stand up for them. Through this program, we’re providing real hope to our kids who truly need it most.”
Funds were awarded to the following:
HAMPSHIRE & MINERAL COUNTIES
Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Inc.
Funds will be used for a facility-based community partnership, providing intake, investigation, and follow-up services for victims of child abuse ages 3-17 in Mineral County.
Cabell Huntington Hospital
Funds will be used for services such as forensic interviewing, advocacy, and mental health for all children subjected to any type of abuse in Cabell County.
KANAWHA, JACKSON & PUTNAM COUNTIES
CAMC Health Education & Research Institute, Inc.
Funds will provide the best care to children and their families in the context of a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation, care, and treatment of victims of child abuse.
HANCOCK & BROOKE COUNTIES
Funds will be used to provide and coordinate child-centered, site-based services to victims of child maltreatment in Brooke and Hancock counties. Funds will also ensure each case has the full support of the multidisciplinary team, making certain each child receives services that will protect them from further harm and trauma.
GREENBRIER, MONROE & POCAHONTAS COUNTIES
Child and Youth Advocacy Center, Inc.
Funds will provide this facility the staff and support necessary for a coordinated multidisciplinary response for the investigation and intervention of allegations of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse in Greenbrier County.
Child Protect of Mercer County, Inc.
Funds will be used to expand and improve services by providing training opportunities to the multidisciplinary team and staff, while also improving intervention and prevention programming at the Mercer County Child Advocacy Center.
BERKELEY, JEFFERSON & MORGAN COUNTIES
Children’s Home Society of West Virginia
Funds will be used for a child-focused program that encourages a multidisciplinary approach to the investigation and treatment of child abuse, in turn strengthening and coordinating the community’s response to child abuse in Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties.
BOONE & LINCOLN COUNTIES
Cornerstone Family Interventions, Inc.
Funds will be used for the implementation of the Child Advocacy Center in order to ensure a comprehensive, culturally competent multidisciplinary investigative team response to allegations of child abuse in a dedicated, child-friendly setting and provide or facilitate mental health interventions and victim advocacy services.
OHIO & MARSHALL COUNTIES
Harmony House, Inc.
Funds will be used to provide victim services such as advocacy, forensic interviews, and mental health and medical referrals/services for children in Ohio and Marshall counties.
HARRISON, DODDRIDGE, TAYLOR & BARBOUR COUNTIES
Harrison County Child Advocacy Center
Funds will be used for a child-focused, facility-based program in Harrison County where representatives from many disciplines meet to discuss and make decisions about investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases to prevent further victimization of children.
RALEIGH, FAYETTE & WYOMING COUNTIES
Just for Kids, Inc.
Funds will be used to provide and coordinate a more humane, culturally competent, site-based, multidisciplinary-team-centered investigation and intervention for children alleging criminal abuse.
LOGAN & MINGO COUNTIES
Logan County Child Advocacy Center, Inc.
Funds will provide site-based services to victims of child maltreatment and ensure each case has the full support of the multidisciplinary team, thereby decreasing trauma and increasing support in Logan County.
Marion County Child Advocacy Center, Inc.
Funds will be used to provide a safe place in Marion County for children who are victims of sexual and physical abuse to have their stories clearly heard and begin the healing process.
Monongalia County Child Advocacy Center, Inc.
Funds will be used to provide center-based services to child abuse victims, including forensic interviews and evaluations, advocacy, education, referrals, therapy, and coordinating Monongalia County’s multidisciplinary response to investigations and interventions for child abuse victims.
UPSHUR & LEWIS COUNTIES
Mountain CAP of West Virginia, Inc.
Funds will be used to provide a unified system of response to allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse and/or neglect, while also providing a safe, neutral, child-friendly site, where additional trauma for the victim is significantly reduced.
NICHOLAS & WEBSTER COUNTIES
Nicholas County Family Resource Network
Funds will be used to provide the Braxton, Webster, and Nicholas County multidisciplinary investigative team a child-friendly environment for children who have been sexually or physically abused.
RANDOLPH & TUCKER COUNTIES
Randolph County Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc.
Funds will be used for a staff person, to provide training opportunities to the multidisciplinary team and other staff members and strengthen the overall program at the Randolph and Tucker County Child Advocacy Centers.
REACHH Family Resource Center, Inc.
Funds will be used for a program coordinator to ensure services will be expanded at the Summers County Child Advocacy Center.
Stop the Hurt, Inc.
Funds will be used to enhance and strengthen the multidisciplinary team’s approach to investigating and prosecuting offenders.
WOOD, RITCHIE, PLEASANTS & WIRT COUNTIES
The Children’s Listening Place, Inc.
Funds will be used for the Child Advocacy Center to support a multidisciplinary and unified response to child abuse and neglect.
West Virginia Child Abuse Network, Inc.
This project will engage the broader community, beyond child advocacy centers and their teams of professionals, to engage the conversation about child sexual abuse, bring increased awareness and decreased stigma. Child abuse will continue to become an issue of shared community concern and priority.
WETZEL & TYLER COUNTIES
Wetzel County Commission
Funds will be used to reduce the traumatic effects of abuse, protect children from maltreatment, seek justice for child victims, investigate abuse as a team, and strengthen the community’s ability to nurture children, while keeping the comfort and safety of the child the first priority in Tyler and Wetzel counties.