For Immediate Release
Reno, Nevada. Nov. 22, 2013. On Dec. 3, the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (SOJC), Knights Hospital, is sponsoring the Reno City Lights benefit. The event will raise donations for the new Washoe County Child Advocacy Center reception area inside the Charles M. McGee Center. This is where a child and their family or caregiver first walks through the door. For more information about the SOJC event, please visit www.renocitylights.com/reserve.html. This promises to be a fun evening with abundant appetizers and Christmas carolers in a unique Reno landmark location.
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Rancharrah, 6001 Talbot Lane, Reno
Reservations are appreciated in advance.
Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick says the Washoe Child Advocacy Center is long overdue for our community. “Fortunately, thanks to the help of a lot of people we are going to be able to make this program available to Washoe County victims, especially children.
“It is like the McGee Center was made for what is happening. It is coming together real well and I am tickled to death, the funding is coming together now. Everybody has been just tremendous about jumping in.”
Mr. Gammick recently made a presentation to the Board of County of Commissioners about child advocacy, an issue critically important in Washoe County and the State of Nevada. A plan of action is underway to implement a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) approach and launch a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Washoe County.
View District Attorney Gammick’s presentation to the Washoe County Board of Commissioners explaining the project. Included is a 6.5 minute video which provides a great blueprint for the operation of a CAC.
The mission of the Washoe County Child Advocacy Center is to ensure the health and safety of a child through a neutral, child-centered environment designed to minimize trauma, provide advocacy for the child and non-offending caregivers, and support effective investigations.
The first CAC was established in 1985 by the District Attorney, now Congressman, Bud Cramer of Huntsville, Alabama. Since 1985, over 800 CAC’s have been created nationwide. Washoe County does not currently have a CAC.
The CAC’s proposed location is at the McGee Center. The site is a child-friendly complex that includes the Children’s Cabinet and Kids’ Kottage.
The project will improve and expand services into one location greatly benefiting families. Under the old practice a child was asked to tell his or her story over and over, often re-victimizing that child. Interviews were held in uncomfortable settings and a child had to tell the story to numerous people numerous times including a social worker, a police officer, a detective, a doctor/nurse, a counselor, and an attorney/prosecutor.
Families traveled from place to place to receive services. The improved model allows one interview that will be taped and witnessed live by the multi-disciplinary team. The team can monitor the interview out of sight of the child and can communicate with the forensic interviewer live. After the interview, the family will be provided with resources to address their needs, all of which can be addressed on site at the CAC. If the child needs a sexual or physical assault exam, this can be done on site.
The following multi-disciplinary agencies support the Center:
- Washoe County District Attorney
- Department of Social Services
- Washoe County Sheriff’s Office
- Reno Police Department
- Sparks Police Department
- Nevada Attorney General
- CARES/SART Program (Child Abuse Response & EvaluationS, Sexual Assault Response Team)*
*A collaborative effort of: Washoe County District Attorney; Washoe County Sheriff’s Office; Washoe County School District Police; Washoe County Department of Social Services; Washoe County Health District; University of Nevada, Reno Police; Sparks Police; Reno Police; Northern Nevada Medical Center, Medical Staff; and, the Crisis Call Center.