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…]