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Cara Boyd Gill, founder and director of S.a.M. Child Advocacy Center in Henderson, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Monday at 11 a.m.
S.a.M. Child Advocacy Center is a 24-hour, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that serves children who are victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and witnesses to violent crimes in Vance and surrounding counties.
Opening its doors in 2016, the center provides a safe, child-friendly environment for children who are alleged victims of abuse and their non-offending family members to receive child forensic interviews by trained staff.
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Victims and their non-offending family members can receive advocacy and support services, referrals to appropriate support services within the community, crisis intervention and medical treatment referrals if needed. All services are provided at no cost to the child or their families.
Gill, who worked for Child Protective Services in Alamance County upon graduating from college, said it was her experience with child investigations and the child advocacy center in Alamance that sparked her interest in offering similar services in Vance County.
“Upon leaving Alamance County – because Henderson is my hometown, and I decided I wanted to come back home – I began talking to our local law enforcement, social services, and our District Attorney’s office to see how they handled cases of child abuse and neglect,” explained Gill. “At the time, they did not have a child advocacy center here, and they would send kids to Duke or UNC with a two or three-month wait, which is not ideal for these kids.”
Gill continued, “A child advocacy center is not a stand-alone center; I also have to have social services, law enforcement, the DA’s office, a mental health provider and a medical provider. In talking with these entities, we began brainstorming how this could happen. The result was we opened in 2016, and here we are in 2020 still expanding.”
For more information on S.a.M., please visit the center’s Facebook page by clicking here.