Conference Registration Now Open!
Join us for the 11th Annual “One Team” Conference Thursday and Friday, October 26-27, 2017 in Savannah, Georgia.
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…]
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…]
CACGA is excited to announce its keynote speaker for its 9th Annual “One Team” Conference: The MDT Response to Child Abuse & Neglect, in Macon, Georgia, on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.
Kevin Mulcahy is a survivor of child sexual abuse. He works as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit, Michigan and serves as Chief of the General Crimes Unit. As Chief, he oversees the Project Safe Childhood program, as well as supervising gun, drug, and other federal prosecutions. For his own caseload, Kevin focuses on child exploitation crimes, including production of child pornography cases, traveler cases, and other significant PSC prosecutions.
Kevin has been a prosecutor for 13 1/2 years, all on the federal level, with the first 3 1/2 years as an AUSA in San Diego, and the rest in Detroit. Kevin obtained his undergraduate degree in Statistics and American Culture from the University of Michigan and his JD from Santa Clara School of Law. He has 3 kids, 2 cats, 1 dog, and a very nice wife.
The Keynote presentation will recount Kevin’s own story of sexual exploitation at the hands of his soccer coach, Randy. But, it will not be merely a retelling of the past. Instead, the presentation will address lessons learned from his case by combining Kevin’s experience both as a victim and a long-time prosecutor of child exploitation cases. Knowing what he knows now, Kevin believes there are lessons to be learned from his story for the investigator (Kevin’s was great), the prosecutor (Kevin’s was terrible), and the forensic interviewer (Kevin did not have one). Beyond these (hopefully) useful lessons, the presentation will provide plenty of time for questions from attendees. Given the nature of our work, we don’t often get to ask questions (beyond factual questions) of our child victims.
The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia had its origins in 1989, when five children’s advocacy centers were established. Initially called the Georgia Network for Children, CACGA was incorporated in March 1994.
Today, more than 25 years after the first CAC opened its doors in Georgia, CACGA is a statewide network of 44 children’s advocacy centers, serving more than 90 percent of the great state of Georgia. Our Children’s Advocacy Centers are big, small, rural, and urban. We have the heart and dedication to see the great potential of all children. We honor the courage of the smallest among us, who have been harmed by sexual abuse, physical abuse and exploitation, and who gain strength through the services, expertise and support that all of our Children’s Advocacy Centers provide. CACGA is proud and honored to be One Team with them.
That is our approach at CACGA: We Are One Team with our 44 member centers all across Georgia. We are committed to and support our One Team of CACs in the critically important work they do for the children and families of communities all across Georgia. We believe in:
- Our multidisciplinary partnerships
- Children and their futures
Please join us. Join our One Team, and support the Children’s Advocacy Center in your community. Check out our Georgia map of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Ask them what you can do for them and the children and families in your community. Thank you so much for your support.
Brooke Woods is the Executive Director of Stepping Stone Children’s Advocacy Center in Dublin.
CACGA: What is the Stepping Stone?
Brooke Woods: Stepping Stone Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization located in Dublin, Georgia which serves victims of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, as well as those children who witness domestic violence. The mission of Stepping Stone is to lessen the trauma suffered by children who have been abused by providing evaluation in a safe, caring place and to encourage collaboration of services for the benefit of the child, family, and community. Stepping Stone currently serves the children and families of the Dublin Judicial Circuit by providing them with free prevention, intervention, and education related to child abuse.
CACGA: What would you like the community to know about the professionals who work there?
Brooke Woods: Employees of Stepping Stone have a passion for the health and well-being of all children. You will often hear our staff and volunteers say, “All children matter.” Our vison is to one day live in a community where children flourish free from child abuse and neglect.
As the Executive Director and Forensic Interviewer at Stepping Stone, I have direct contact with all of the families that come to our center. It is my hope that each child and family member that leaves Stepping Stone will feel like they have an advocate who will walk with them through the traumatic experience of abuse. I earned my bachelor degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Science Education. Although I worked in the teaching field for many years, I felt a calling to get involved with child advocacy work after serving on a jury that convicted a serial child molester. At the center my responsibilities include: conducting forensic interviews, providing victim advocacy, testifying in court, writing grant proposals, providing community prevention and awareness, assisting during sexual assault exams, coordinating and facilitating the multi-disciplinary team, fund raising, and other random duties. [Read more…]
Jackla Lawson is the Executive Director and SANE Coordinator for The Treehouse, the children’s advocacy center and sexual assault center in Thomasville, Georgia, serving Thomas County.
CACGA: What is The Treehouse CAC?
Jackla Lawson: The Treehouse is a children’s advocacy and sexual assault center in Thomasville serving Thomas County. The Treehouse provides a safe, comfortable environment for children to give their statements about abuse or witnessing a violent crime and to receive a sexual assault exam. The Treehouse operates under the multi-disciplinary approach working with numerous agencies involved in the investigation, intervention, and treatment of child abuse.
CACGA: What would you like the community to know about the professionals who work there?
Jackla Lawson: Each of our staff members, like many other professionals in the field, have a passion for the work they do. They recognize the need for services provided by The Treehouse Children’s Advocacy Center in our community and are committed to providing the best service possible to children and families in Thomas County. In addition to their heart for helping others, each staff person also has extensive training in the field of child abuse and sexual assault.
I am our Executive Director, SANE Coordinator, and conduct the majority of forensic interviews at The Treehouse. I began working in the field of child abuse and domestic violence in 2007 and have been the Executive Director of The Treehouse for 3 years. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Valdosta State University and have received extensive training in the areas of child abuse, sexual assault, forensic interviewing, domestic violence, and victim advocacy. I conduct forensic interviews, schedule sexual assault examinations, facilitate multi-disciplinary team meetings, testify in court, write grant proposals and provide community awareness presentations in addition to other administrative tasks. [Read more…]