Thank you for attending our 12th Annual CACGA “One Team” Conference in awesome Athens, Georgia! We appreciate you being there, and most importantly for doing all you do for children and families in our communities. We look forward to seeing you at our 13th Annual CACGA “One Team” Conference in 2019!
The 12th Annual CACGA “One Team” Conference: The Multidisciplinary Team Response to Child Abuse and Neglect
Keynote Speaker: Amy Cunningham
Dates: October 15 – 16, 2018
Place: The Classic Center – Athens, GA
We just want to thank all of our sponsors, vendors, national expert speakers and especially the incredible 280 One Team ’17 conference attendees that helped make this year’s conference a huge success. And we give a special shout-out to all who serve Georgia’s children and families every single day. See you all next year. It was a blast!#OneTeam2018
The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia has published a one-of-a-kind resource for survivors of child abuse titled, “Words of Hope and Healing: Encouragement and Empowerment of Survivors of Child Abuse.” Along with forewords by National Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Chris Newlin, CACGA Consultant and former National Children’s Alliance Executive Director Nancy Chandler, and “Jane Doe,” a mom whose child was served by a Georgia CAC, the chapters that follow were all written by a director of a Georgia CAC.
In this book, our directors from across the state of Georgia have written about hope, encouragement, and empowerment. They have imagined through their writings what it would be like sitting with a child and non-offending caregiver on their final day at the CAC when a child asks: What now? What is my life going to be like? What happens to kids like me who’ve had things like this happen to them? How can I be successful? How can I trust? How can I love? Who cares about me? Or any number of the many questions that have been asked by children over the years.
The result is a powerful book rich in words of hope, healing and encouragement from dedicated and professional advocates who see, and serve, children who allege abuse, neglect, and exploitation every day. Our hope at CACGA is that every child and family who is served by a CAC, upon leaving our services and transitioning back into the journey called life, be given a copy of this book so that they can continually review and reflect upon these powerful words of hope and healing. We also hope that anyone who suffers from any trauma, regardless of its cause, be given this book for its source of positive and productive influence.
For the children.
Kevin McNeil is a Special Victims Detective, author, educator, and motivational speaker. Throughout his 18-year career as a law enforcement officer and detective, Kevin has testified in court as an expert witness and is responsible for putting together numerous cases for prosecution against sex offenders. Kevin has investigated and solved several high profile media cases; including six serial rape cases and five child murder cases.
His years of experience as a police officer and detective allow him to consult with local law enforcement agencies as well as Child Advocacy Centers, hospitals, school systems and state family protective service agencies. He helps agencies measure the effects of abuse, and educates the general public on how to recognize and report abuse to the proper authorities. Kevin’s passion is to educate the world on the effects of abuse and how it can be eradicated from our culture.
Detective Kevin McNeil presents a motivating and compelling presentation on why helping abuse victims is more than just a job; it is a calling. This presentation will highlight why your job is more than just something you get paid to do but is a unique call to service. Part of Kevin’s presentation highlights the importance of providing a space for victims to talk about their abuse in a friendly supportive environment such as the child advocacy center. He demonstrates how neuroscience confirms that talking about abuse in a supportive environment increases the chances of victims recovering from their abuse; enabling them to live healthy lives. You will see how forensic interviews are changing lives and giving parents reassurance they are not alone. [Read more…]
Laurie Whitworth is the Executive Director of Harmony House Children’s Advocacy Center in Royston.
CACGA: What is Harmony House Child Advocacy Center for kids?
Laurie Whitworth: Harmony House Child Advocacy Center serves the Northern Judicial Circuit. Elbert, Franklin, Hart, Madison and Oglethorpe Counties make up this circuit. Our mission is to provide a central location, using multidisciplinary team approaches to the evaluation, intervention, prosecution, and treatment for children (and their non-offending caregivers) who have been alleged victims of child abuse. No single agency, individual or discipline has all the knowledge, skills or resources to provide needed assistance to abused children and their families. Harmony House Child Advocacy Center combines the wisdom and professional knowledge of child protective services, law enforcement, prosecution, medical professionals and mental health professionals by bringing together all of these entities and individuals under one roof in response to an allegation of abuse. Harmony House Child Advocacy Center maintains the focus on the child and works to ensure that the system designed to protect children is able to do so more effectively.
CACGA: What would you like the community to know about the professionals who work at Harmony
House Child Advocacy Center?
Laurie Whitworth: Harmony House staff consist of professionals who are qualified, highly skilled, extensively trained and most of all passionate about making a difference in the recovery of a child who has experienced abuse and the family who are walking the path with them. [Read more…]
“Child Abuse Records Protection Act” signed into law
Gov. Nathan Deal signed HB 725, the “Child Abuse Records Protection Act” on April 27th. This critical legislation will prevent the unauthorized disclosure of child abuse records. CACGA championed the legislation that was introduced by Rep. Wes Cantrell and joined the Governor for the signing of this bill.
Read the full article here.
“THANK YOU!! Thank you for all who participated in our 10th Annual “One Team” Conference on November 3-4, 2016. The speakers, sponsors, vendors and more than 260 participants made it a wonderful success.
See you next year for our two day One Team Conference on October 26-27, 2017 in Savannah.
Mark Smith is the Executive Director of the Power House for Kids in Toccoa.
CACGA: What is the Power House for Kids?
Mark Smith: The Power House for Kids is a child advocacy center that serves the Mountain Judicial Circuit. Habersham, Rabun and Stephens Counties make up the Mountain Judicial Circuit. Our mission is to provide a safe place for children who are victims of sexual or physical abuse to come and tell their story, one time, to people who care and want to make a difference in the life of that child. Under our roof we provide the following services: forensic interviews by a specially trained interviewer, full medical facilities including the collection of rape kits, trauma focused therapy through our relationship with Turning Points Counseling which is located in our building and we assign an advocate to work with the child victim throughout the investigative process, judicial process and the healing process. We want to see the child safe and a perpetrator off the street.
CACGA: What would you like the community to know about the professionals who work at the Power House for Kids?
Mark Smith: The professional staff at the Power House for Kids is one part of a much bigger group of professionals all working together for the child known as the multidisciplinary team. This multidisciplinary team is made up of law enforcement, medical personnel, DFCS workers, school counselors, advocates, therapists and interviewers who each play a role in the crisis and the follow up of each case. We each have a role in working a case and making sure the interests of the child are best met and represented. This team wants to see the child be able to return to normal relationships in the future. The Power House professionals on this team meet the challenge any time a child needs help, day or night, 24/7. We are always on call and ready to respond. We believe in children and that every child has the right to grow up without being sexually or physically harmed.
CACGA: What would the Mountain Judicial Circuit be without the Power House for Kids?
Mark Smith: I feel the Power House for Kids helps to fill a need in the Mountain Judicial Circuit. Through accepted protocol any child sexually or physically abused in the Mountain Judicial Circuit is brought to the Power House for Kids. We provide a central place that is properly staffed to meet the needs of a child in crisis and assist other members of the team in working each case. In this manner there is one central location for all abused children [Read more…]