Children’s Advocacy Center Hosts Open House

To commemorate Child Abuse Prevention Month, Talbot Community Connections along with Shore Health System and the Talbot County Department of Social Services is hosting an open house at the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center on Wednesday, April 8 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Children’s Advocacy Center is located at The Memorial Hospital at Easton.

Open House guests will meet with members of the multidisciplinary team responsible for investigating and prosecuting child abuse in Talbot County and have an opportunity to tour the interview and medical examination facilities.

“In 2008, the Children’s Advocacy Center served 106 victims of child abuse,” says April Sharp, director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services. “This open house is an opportunity for members of the community to learn more about the services available through the center. They will also find out how they can support this valuable resource to our community.”

Founded in 2003, the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is a collaboration between child protective services, law enforcement, prosecution, medical personal and mental health professionals. The team uses processes that strengthen cases for prosecution and support the child’s non-offending family members throughout an investigation of reported abuse.

The CAC is decorated with playful murals, soothing colors and comfortable furniture that create a welcoming refuge for the families served. Under the medical direction of pediatrician Fayette Engstrom, MD, children undergo forensic medical examinations involving evidence collection and digital videography that documents abusive injuries. An interview room and an adjacent observation and conference room are equipped with a state of the art audio-video system to record child victims’ interviews. The recorded interview limits the number of times a child must be interviewed, improves prosecution efforts and further reduces the need for victims to testify in court.

The Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance. The Center is funded by the community through Talbot Community Connections and various grants.

Memorial Hospital is located at 219 S. Washington Street in Easton. The open house will begin in the Nick Rajacich Health Education Center in rooms A & B. For more information and to register for the open house, contact Kawana Molock, CAC Coordinator at 410-770-5227 or email kmolock@dhr.state.md.us.

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