Advocacy center to receive grant

CAC handles child abuse cases for two counties

A Cambria County children’s advocacy center will receive an estimated $17,000 to $19,000 to help cover its operational expenses.

The proceeds from a golf tournament will be used to support staff wages, victim services, programs and other costs associated with the Circle of Support CAC, said the center’s director Diana Grosik.

The CAC handles child abuse cases for both Cambria and Bedford counties.

The center partners with the Bedford County District Attorney’s Office, Your Safe Haven, Children and Youth Services, law enforcement and other agencies as part of a multi-disciplinary investigative team.

“We all work together toward ensuring successful prosecution of child abuse cases, which includes trying to remove any additional trauma to child victims and their families as much as possible,” District Attorney Lesley Childers-Potts said.

With the help of the Circle of Support CAC, the investigative team works to have only one interview with the child victim.

During a CAC interview, team members observe from a separate room on a closed circuit television set instead of having numerous interviews.

“We minimize the number of times the children have to talk about the abuse,” Grosik said. “Our mission is to minimize any additional trauma during the course of an investigation and to also connect the child and family to services as quickly as possible.”

Childers-Potts said the team works together to take care of child victims in the best way the system allows and still gather information for successful prosecution.

“Multiple interviews can be stressful for any victim. The stress on a child victim can be even more traumatic. The CAC helps us better address the needs of a child victim and their families,” she added.

The fundraising event was hosted by HF Lenz Co. on Aug. 27 at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford.