The Children’s Advocacy Center, which is headquartered in Fort Oglethorpe, wants the public to know that its core mission is helping needy children, and that community events and fundraisers are ways the center helps educate the public.
The center is a non-profit that provides services for sexually abused, physically abused and neglected children. It conducts forensic interviews and medical exams for the purposes of prosecution and also provides mental health services for the child survivor.
The third annual Jayhawk Music & Arts Festival raised money for the center on Sept. 27-28 at Pigeon Mountain Grill in Chickamauga.
“A lot of people don’t know what the Children’s Advocacy Center is or what we do,” Assistant Director Anthony Dye said. “And being at fundraisers like the Jayhawk Festival allows us the opportunity to tell people what we do and what we are about.”
Fundraisers like the Jayhawk Festival bring a lot of recognition, he said.
“Every time Jayhawk Festival organizer Victor Burgess announces a band, he announces the Children’s Advocacy Center and puts our website out there.” Executive Director Aleks Jagiella-Litts said.
The center started in 1997 and opened its doors in 1998, providing services to the entire Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit with 10 staff members and two interns. It serves four counties: Chattooga, Catoosa, Walker and Dade.
Its main office is located at 106 W. Forrest Road in Fort Oglethorpe, with satellite offices in Summerville and Trenton.
A new mental health suite was just opened in Fort Oglethorpe, near what use to be the old Hutchinson hospital.
The Jayhawk Festival raised $1,000 for the Children’s Advocacy Center at its third annual event. All money raised will be put towards the center’s fourth annual Child Abuse Conference event on Oct. 28 at The Colonnade in Ringgold.
The center will be providing community mental health education and training for law enforcement in the area of child abuse. The center receives most of its referrals from law enforcement and the Department of Family and Children’s Services. Its services are free to the families.
“We want the community to know that we are here if they need us,” Dye said. “We don’t turn anyone away.”