We Can Help is a feature here at Bird on a Wire where we spotlight a community organization and tell you how you can help.
Virginia Stallworth became involved with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center as a graduate student. In 1997, she had to interview an agency that she might want to work at someday and very deliberately chose the Child Advocacy Center. The reputation of the CAC as a well-run organization was one of several reasons. Through that process, she was introduced to the center--and the center was introduced to her. Today she is the Associate Director.Virginia tells us the CAC supports safety for children through informed prevention, community collaboration, and a team approach to healing and justice for victims of child sexual and severe physical abuse.
The team of professionals who take action following a report of suspected child sexual abuse is headquartered at the Child Advocacy Center. The Memphis Police Child Abuse Unit; several specialized units of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services; prosecutors from the District Attorney's Special Victims Unit;, and the CAC staff share office space at their location. All other law enforcement jurisdictions in Shelby County are also part of their team.
When victimized children and their non-offending parents walk into the Child Advocacy Center, the healing begins with a friendly greeting, a playroom waiting room, and a wall of teddy bears. At the center, kids receive all the specialized services which are widely recognized as the most effective approach to intervention in child sexual abuse.
They also have a very exciting and growing prevention program that features their powerful Stewards of Children prevention training for parents and adults who work with kids. Their most recent supporter, Coach Josh Pastner, has worked with them in creating a series of PSA's to promote the program. They're also going to be training his staff at U of M.
Virginia says there are several ways for people to help the CAC. One way is to support their fundraising efforts. For the holidays, you can consider sending their Bear Hug cards to your friends and family.
In February, their annual Works of Heart valentine auction is a fun way to have a great time shopping for a one of a kind valentine gift.
You can also help by becoming a volunteer ambassador for the CAC.
Want to tell us about how we can help your organization? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.