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8th Annual World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse Conference

CACGA is excited to announce its expert speaker lineup for its 8th Annual World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse conference, in Macon, Georgia, on November 19, 2014.

The Conference is open to the public, and also to all of those professionals who work so tirelessly in the fight against child maltreatment.  Continuing education credits have been applied for.   The cost for the conference is $75.00 — $35.00 for students — and registration can be found right here on our CACGA website.

National experts, including several who work and practice in Georgia, will collectively present 10 separate workshops on important topics designed to provide attendees with the latest information as attendees continue their fight against child abuse.  There will be workshop tracks for prosecution, investigation, social services, medical and mental health, and of course for the professionals who work in Children’s Advocacy Centers across Georgia and the U.S.

AntwoneFisherAdditionally, CACGA is honored to have Mr. Antwone Fisher as our Keynote Speaker.  Antwone Fisher is an award-winning film and literary writer. Born in an Ohio prison to a teenage mother, Antwone became a ward of the state and was placed in foster care. He spent two years in a loving foster home, but was subsequently moved [Read More...]

CAC Georgia is Always here to Serve

The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia, Inc. is Georgia’s statewide membership association of 46 local children’s advocacy centers.  CACGA was formed in 1992, incorporated in 1994, and as an accredited chapter of the National Children’s Alliance, is one of the leading state children’s advocacy networks in the United States.

Our mission is to provide direct services to local CACs and Georgia communities in order to promote, assist, and support the development, growth, and continuation of children’s advocacy centers in the state of Georgia.  Our primary role is providing a variety of critical direct services to its CACs in Georgia in the form of training, mentoring, consulting, compiling information for statistical and research purposes, and helping prepare local CAC professionals to be able to function appropriately, professionally and successfully in the legal criminal and civil justice systems.

For more than 20 years, CACGA has been providing training, technical assistance and support to CACs in Georgia as well as outreach and assistance to communities working to establish a Children’s Advocacy Center in their area. CACGA continues to respond to the needs of existing CACs and seeks strategies to develop new Centers.

The payoff is extraordinary:  In local communities throughout Georgia, dedicated professionals are effectively responding to child abuse issues as teams, while being supported by committed and visionary boards of directors, volunteers, funders, and private and governmental partners.

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Focusing On Our CACs

Sally Sheppard, Executive Director of The Cottage

Five Questions for Sally Sheppard

Sally Sheppard is the Executive Director of The Cottage Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy Center in Athens, Georgia.

CACGA:  What is The Cottage and its mission?

Sally Sheppard:  The Cottage is a non-profit organization that serves both victims of sexual assault and child abuse.  Our mission is to provide intervention, advocacy, referrals, and support for survivors and families impacted by child abuse and sexual assault.  The Cottage also raises awareness and provides prevention education about these issues.  We serve individuals and families living in Clarke, Oconee, Madison and Oglethorpe Counties.

CACGA:  What would you like your community to know about the professionals who work at The Cottage?

Sally Sheppard:  We have the most professionally, passionate and well trained staff of all agencies working with child abuse and sexual assault.  I truly believe this because it is a high priority to pay my staff a salary that is deserving of a professional within the field of child abuse and sexual assault.  I also feel that it is important to offer my staff incredible opportunities to expand and renew their knowledge of child abuse and sexual assault, annually.  It is also a priority of The Cottage that our staff maintain healthy boundaries and self-care. This work is incredibly intense and affects our lives outside of work.  We need to take care of ourselves so we can help take care of others.

CACGA:  What would the Western Judicial Circuit be without The Cottage?

Sally Sheppard:  Our judicial circuit would lack a safe place for child to come talk with a caring professional about an incident of abuse.  The families of that child would lack a supportive professional to talk with them about the process of an investigation of child abuse, to explain to them the symptoms their child may exhibit due to being a victim of abuse, to give them resources for help and to set them up with therapy for both them and their child within days after the forensic interview.  The children and families impacted by child abuse would lack a safe place to attend free individual therapy sessions along with free support groups for all age groups.  The Western Judicial Circuit would lack competent professionals in the field of child abuse and sexual assault to testify in Juvenile and Superior Court about a child’s statement of abuse or about the dynamics of abuse.  The child victim and their family would lack support during the criminal justice process.  In short, there would be a great number of both children and families impacted by child abuse and sexual assault that would not receive viable services and resources to help them to the path of healing. [Read More...]

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