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Children in School Bus
Mission
History
What is

Our Mission

The Carroll County Child Advocacy Center exists to champion the needs of sexually, physically, and emotionally abused children in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties through prevention, intervention and collaboration.

Our History

On May 17, 2012 County Commission Chair Bill Chappel, Darkness to Light Facilitator Emily Cole, Carrollton City Manager Casey Coleman, Carroll DFCS Director Charlene Harrod, Darkness to Light Facilitator Jill Hesterlee, State Representative Dustin W. Hightower, Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley, Carrollton Police Chief Joel Richards and District Attorney Pete Skandalakis met at Carrollton Presbyterian Church with Nancy Chandler who represented Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia to discuss the steps that needed to be taken to establish a child advocacy center in Carroll County. At that meeting additional stakeholders were identified and stakeholder meetings continued through August during which time individuals were identified to serve on the founding board of directors for Carroll County Child Advocacy Center.

On September 27, 2012 the founding board held their first meeting. Those serving on the founding board were: Andrea Chapman, Emily Cole, Susan Fleck, Vickie Fulbright, Jan Gibbs, Charlene Harrod, Jill Hesterlee, Dusty Hightower, Shonda Jensen, Terry Langley, Bruce Lyon, Michael Mansour, Peter Maierhofer, Joel Richards, Pete Skandalakis, and Danielle Tolbert. At the March 2013 meeting Jill Hesterlee resigned from the board to assume duties of a forensic interviewer. On April 15, 2013 Tracy O. Lewis-Martin was hired as a full time director who would additionally conduct forensic interviews.

On April 25, 2013 a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with children, grandchildren and young friends of board members of Carroll County Child Advocacy Center, along with Jill Hesterlee, forensic interviewer and Tracy O. Lewis-Martin the director and forensic interviewer, officially opening the facility.

What Is a Child Advocacy Center (CAC)?

To understand what a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is, you must understand what children face without one. Without a CAC, the child may end up having to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again, to doctors, cops, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they might be in trouble, or may be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning teacher or other adult that could hurt the case against the abuser.


How The CAC Model Works

The following is from the National Children's Alliance, of which we are accredited:

To understand what a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is, you must understand what children face without one. Without a CAC, the child may end up having to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again, to doctors, cops, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they might be in trouble, or may be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning teacher or other adult that could hurt the case against the abuser.

 

When police or child protective services believe a child may be experiencing abuse, the child is brought to the CAC—a safe, child-focused environment—by a caregiver or other “safe” adult. At the CAC, the child tells their story once to a trained interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not not retraumatize the child. Then, a team that includes medical professionals, law enforcement, mental health, prosecution, child protective services, victim advocacy, and other professionals make decisions together about how to help the child based on the interview. CACs offer therapy and medical exams, plus courtroom preparation, victim advocacy, case management, and other services. This is called the multidisciplinary team (MDT) response and is a core part of the work of CACs.

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Team

Meet Our Team

Our staff is a group of caring, well-trained professionals that are here to support you and your child.

Our Team

Meet the warm, welcoming folks who work with you and your child.

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Amanda Carden

Executive Director

Amanda currently serves as the Executive Director of the Carroll County Child Advocacy Center. In addition to her operational and administrative duties as Executive Director, Amanda also serves the center as a credentialed forensic interviewer for children ages two to 17. In addition to forensic interviewing, an area of passion for Amanda is outreach and sharing with the west Georgia community the important work happening at the CC-CAC and the vital role that all adults play in keeping our children safe. Prior to joining the CC-CAC in May 2020, Amanda worked with the Carrollton City School system as a teacher, building level administrator, and district level administrator. She holds both a BS.Ed and M.Ed in Special Education, and a Ed.S in Educational Leadership. 

Amanda enjoys spending time at home with her husband, daughter, and their sweet Labrador Retrievers. She enjoys cooking, the outdoors, and classic country music. 

Our Team

Meet the warm, welcoming folks who work with you and your child.

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Kaylie Callahan

Office Advocate

Kaylie is our Office Advocate. Her tasks include assisting with the day-to-day operations of the CAC, acting as the primary intake coordinator for clients, and some marketing aspects for the CAC. She holds a Human Services degree with a focus on Nonprofit Administration from Kennesaw State University. Kaylie joined the CAC in December of 2020. She previously worked for a statewide nonprofit that provided services to child victims of domestic minor sex trafficking where she served as an Administrative Assistant at the executive level. Kaylie loves vacationing at the beach and her favorite food is mac-n-cheese.

Our Team

Meet the warm, welcoming folks who work with you and your child.

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Jeliegha Brown

Forensic Interviewer & Family Advocate

Jeliegha is a Forensic Interviewer and Family Advocate at the CAC. In these roles, she provides support, community resources, and crisis intervention services to families as well as conducts child abuse-related interviews with children ages two through 17. She graduated from the University of West Georgia with a degree in Psychology and minor in Criminology. She joined the CAC in November of 2020 after working at Carrollton City Schools for two years. Jeliegha enjoys spending quality time with her husband and their children. They have two dogs- a husky and a dalmatian!

Our Team

Meet the warm, welcoming folks who work with you and your child.

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Allison Robinson

Forensic Interviewer

Prevention Coordinator

Allison is currently a Forensic Interviewer and the Prevention Coordinator for the Carroll County Child Advocacy Center.  As Prevention Coordinator, one of Allison's priorities is providing and facilitating the Stewards of Children: Darkness to Light training for adults throughout Carroll, Haralson, & Heard counties.  This training teaches adults critical steps for preventing, recognizing, and responding to child sexual abuse within their community.  As a Forensic Interviewer, Allison is trained to conduct child forensic interviews for children ages two through 17. Allison joined the CC-CAC in April of 2019 after being employed for eight years as the Program Coordinator for the Carroll County Recreation Department. She holds a degree in Spanish from the University of West Georgia. Allison enjoys spending time with her family, photography, and coaching her children in sports. 

Our Team

Meet the warm, welcoming folks who work with you and your child.

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Beth Kimbrell

Family Advocate

Bio coming soon!

Board

Board of Directors

Montrell McClendon - Board Chair

District 1

Carroll County Commissioner

Dir. of Transportation,

Carrollton City Schools.

Kevin Bush - Treasurer

Assistant Finance Director,

City of Carrollton

Cason Hightower

Funeral Director,

Hightower Family Funeral Homes

Joel Richards

Chief,

Carrollton Police Department

Brooke Mobley

Executive Director,

Partners for Advancing Student Success (PASS)

Baylee Cates - Vice Chair

Clinical Instructor,

University of West Georgia

Josh Chapman

President,

Linco Development, LLC

Shavon Martin

Administrative Assistant,

Carroll County Teaching and

Learning Center

Libby Smith

Director,

Carroll County Department of Family and Children Services

Scott Broome

Board Emeritus

Business Owner, The Barnes Store

Pam Uglum - Secretary

Business Owner –

Deloach Management Inc.

Jill Hesterlee

Community Member

Brandolynn Yarbrough

State Housing Strategy Lead, Caresource

Dr. Tim Thomas

Physician,

Tanner Health System

Emily Cole

Board Emeritus

Community Members

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