Child Advocacy Center receives state grant

Published 7:34 pm Thursday, August 22, 2019

Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $191,069 grant to help the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center assist child abuse victims in Pike, Barbour, Bullock and Coffee counties.

“There is never an excuse for someone to abuse a child, and such actions demand an effective response” Ivey said in announcing the grant award. “I commend the staff of the center for helping these young victims and for assisting law enforcement investigations of the crimes committed against these innocent children.”

Camille Downing, PRCAC director, said the grant is an annual grant awarded to help continue support services for victims and to assist in the investigation and prosecution of abusers. Local matching funds of $40,396 will supplement the grant, she said.

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“There are no words for us express what this grant means to the local four counties that it supports,” Downing said. “Without these funds, we would not be able the services that are available at the CAC and many children and their families would not be served. These funds are a blessing because it should not hurt to be a child.”

Downing said the center provides counseling and medical exams by specially trained nurses in a child-friendly atmosphere. The staff also works with other agencies to help with the investigation and prosecution of child abuse.

“This grant of $191,069 is actually more than we have received in the past,” Downing said. “The additional funds will be used to support the addition of fourth person at the Pike Regional CAC and will make it possible to extend our services. We now have a request to extend our services in Coffee County and now that will be a consideration.”

Downing said the Pike Regional CAC staff includes Kaley Green, family advocate and prevention specialist; Temeka Teague, family advocate and intervention coordinator and Leo Perdue family advocate.

“We have an excellent staff and the recent addition of Leo Perdue makes it much more comfortable for the male children that we interview,” she said. “The funds that the Pike County CAC receives from ADEA and from the local community through donations including the blue ribbon and pinwheel awareness campaign are vital to being able to continue services to the four-county area. With this support, the PRCAC can provide a safe place for professional help for our four-county area. We thank all of those who make it possible.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Justice Department. ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resource management and recreation development.

“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in supporting the work of the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center and a network of similar centers to provide hope to children who become victims of abuse,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA’s partnership with the center ensures that survivors and their families have a safe place to turn for professional aid at a time they need it the most.”