The Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass is extending its interviews of children suspected of being abused into southern Madison County.
Services in the agency's Berea satellite location are expected to begin early next year.
Staff at Children’s Advocacy Centers across Kentucky strive to reduce the trauma experienced by sexually-abused children.
It’s done through serving as a point of contact for families including interviews with the children, medical services, and therapy.
CAC Bluegrass Director Winn Stephens says plans call for beginning the so-called "forensic interviews" of children when the Berea Police Department moves into a new City Hall location. “And we can reduce the amount of time they have to spend getting to and from an interview, both for the clients, for the investigators, for the social workers,” said Stephens.
Stephens says children will still need to be brought to Lexington for medical services at the Ashland Avenue building. There's already a satellite office for such interviews in Frankfort.
New secondary victim therapy services are now being offered at the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass. Winn Stephens says the new counseling services focus on adults in families where children have experienced abuse. “You’re worried about the health of your child. You’re questioning your role as a parent and did you miss something,” noted Stephens. “Did you do something to place them into this predicament, those kind of things and typically those are not the cases but it’s still good to flush out those feelings and emotions and talk about them.”
Stephens says in about 90 percent of cases, the perpetrator is someone known and often trusted by the family.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass serves 17 central Kentucky counties.