Membership Monday - 15th Judicial District CAC
This week, we're visiting the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center (CAC) While they are located in Lebanon, TN, they serve all of Wilson, Smith, Macon, Jackson, and Trousdale counties. They are having a sweet dinner theater event on April 2nd, 2016 called A Chocolate Affair. You can find out more information, including individual and table tickets, here.
You can also follow their team on Facebook!
Amanda Darby (pictured to the left) is the Forensic Interviewer and Stewards of Children Training Facilitator.
Why did you decide to go into your field? I decided to pursue this field of child advocacy to help give children a voice. My interest in forensic interviewing, in particular, comes from my desire to help facilitate the healing process for children who've been abused. In my opinion, providing them with an opportunity to talk about the abuse they've experienced is one of the critical first steps of that process.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of work? Traveling, creating specialty gifts and gift baskets, spending time with family/friends, listen to jazz music
What are some events or projects (personal or professional) that you would like to share? This past December, I interviewed a teenage female who was the victim of sexual abuse and whose birth mother failed to protect her. The young lady spoke of her upcoming 18th birthday in February, but that due to her recently being home schooled and isolated from her peers, she wouldn't have anyone to celebrate with. While I generally try not to hold on to the details children share with me during interviews, there was one detail I made a point to remember from this interview.
On February 2nd, the CPS Investigator and I arrived at this young lady's house with a birthday cake, gift card, and lots of hugs! Besides being a survivor of child abuse, this young woman had "18" reasons to celebrate. We wanted her first official day of young adulthood to be a positive memory and as extraordinary as she is!
What is on your CAC wish list?
- Stuffed animals, especially bears, for the children (due to health restrictions, animals must be new). Each child who comes to the Center receives something to take home.
- Items we can give to children who are too old for stuffed animals (we serve children from age 3-17). Age 10+ might enjoy: Legos, matchbox cars, Barbies, journal books, board and card games
- Play dough, which we use during the interview process
- Pre-paid gas cards - sometimes our clients cannot afford gas to travel here.
- Walmart, Kroger, or Publix gift cards.
- A house that will help the children feel more comfortable.
In such a demanding field, what keeps you focused and positive about the work you do? What keeps me focused and positive are the people I do the work with and the children I do the work for. I am blessed to be a part of such an outstanding Multidisclipinary Team of professionals who are passionate about serving our children. The fact that these children can see the good in people, despite their bad circumstances, and trust us adults to keep them safe - that is my motivation to do this work every day.