By Charlotte Blasingame
At a recent Rotary Club meeting Mrs. Kim Baker Who is currently serving as Executive Director of Tri County Children’s Advocacy Center for Randolph, Chambers and Tallapoosa counties enlightened the members as to situations she faces every day.
Mrs. Baker states that even though her tenure has been short in this position she has found it to be very challenging.. Previously She has worked with troubled children and counseling. And even though she is Certified in Substance Abuse she states she wasn’t sure if she was ready for this position. Law officers have children in custody where they do a Forensic interview and then in turn they contact her department to bring the child into a comfortable setting to be able to talk with the child without any acquisition. Law Enforcement and DHR are able to witness the interview in another room..
Their job is to teach the child coping skills without acquisition ! Last year Chambers County had 33 new cases in 2015 –24 being sexual abuse. Male/ female ratio is even. Black/ White there again the ratio is even.
Ages 0-6 yrs. 9 cases. The biggest age group.. 7-13.
Her department does not determine if one is guilty. They cannot make the incident go away. They just try to instill hope in them and give them purpose to help them believe in themselves .She is so proud of the local Law enforcement as they stepped up at Christmas and were able to buy some gifts of hope for 29 children.
Funding is a challenge .. She said in order to donate please go to website..Www.tri-co-cac.org Her Department is in the process of establishing a Go Fund Me for funds .Mrs. Baker stated that everything her department does is free.
She and and 2 other employees are the only employees in her Department.
Statistics show over 230 cases in 3 Counties. 240 counseling sessions here in Chambers County alone.
Mrs. Baker wants to bring increased awareness to this issue, stating she has spearheaded the month of April to bring awareness to the issue. Mrs. Baker is asking for churches in the area along with law enforcement to ring bells and sound sirens at 12 noon April 1st.