Every year since the NEACAC opened its doors the number of children served has doubled annually. 2013 was the first year the for the NEACAC to surpass 300 children served. An astounding 331 children received services from the NEACAC this year of which 135 received specialized medical exams onsite. It is hard to imagine that before 2012 all of these children and their families would had to have found transportation to either Little Rock or Memphis in a hospital setting to be offered the exam we know have available right here in the Center.
Another major success we have acheived this past year was reaching 1835 Educational Professionals, Parents, Caregivers, Law Enforcement and other Community Leaders through our Mandated Reporter Trainings approved by the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence as well as other trainings including CAC Information, "So, I've Called the Hotline, What Happens Next?" and Prevention and Awareness Trainings. We were able to provide Mandated Reporter Trainings including the new law changes and updates to four entire school districts, Area HeadStart programs, the ASU Early Childhood Conference, ASU Workshop and Greene County Workshop both in conjunction with the Attorney General's office, Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, Area 6 Supervisor of ASP CACD Lea Ann Vanaman and our very own Executive Director Kristy Nichols. We also had the opportunity to teach during a class for the Police Academy in Pocahontas. The opportunities for the NEACAC to share our mission seemed to endless in 2013 and we look forward to even more opportunities in 2014!
While at a CAC meeting a director shared this photo and provided once again proof that Child Advocacy Centers serve their purpose and help transition "victims" into "survivors". A twelve year old victim of sexual abuse came into the Child Advocacy Center and was warmly greeted and invited to look around. After the advocate helped the young girl feel comfortable and after both the forensic interview and the specialized medical exam the girl asked to sit on the steps and draw with the sidewalk chalk while her guardian finished up. Soon the mother and daughter were out the door with a referral Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in hand and a new sense of empowerment with the resources and advocacy gained from the CAC. Many days go by and we see the undescribable change that often takes place between the time a child walks through our door and when they leave. Many times we see them stand a little straighter, walk a little taller, hold their head a little higher, but rarely do we get to see such a beautiful peice of written expression that leaves not one dry eye in the room. These were the steps of the CAC and these are the heartfelt words of a 12 year old and her inspiring words to those who were to enter these doors in the future. This is why we do what we do each and every day.