ABOUT CACM

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Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi (CACM) is an accredited chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. As a membership organization with numerous local Child Advocacy Centers throughout the state, we bring together multidisciplinary teams to streamline the process of child abuse situations. Our goal is always to put the needs of the child first, and we bring all services under one umbrella. By bringing together many disciplines, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental and/or medical health, victim advocacy and child advocacy, we work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases.

Mission

The mission of CACM is to support the development and continuation of children's advocacy centers that meet the accreditation standards of the National Children's Alliance and to improve the ability and skill of Mississippi's child abuse professionals to better serve victims of child abuse.

Purpose
  • To support the development, growth and continuation of the CACs in Mississippi
  • To promote system improvements for abused and neglected children utilizing education and advocacy campaigns and partnerships to improve government relations
  • To initiate and maintain statewide public education programs on benefits of collaborative approaches to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect
  • To provide information and materials relevant to CACs development, management, quality assurance, standards, best practices and policies, training curriculum, resource development and program sustainability
  • To support the education of the public, the legislature and the courts in MS regarding the status and needs of abused children
  • To identify and coordinate funding opportunities for CACs
  • To promote the growth and continuation of the MDT approach to intervention in child abuse cases
CACM HISTORY SNAPSHOT
cacm History
accreditation
letter from executive director

CACM supports local Mississippi agencies that are seeking accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance. The following program components are necessary for accredited membership in National Children’s Alliance:

1. MDT: A Multidisciplinary Team for response to child abuse allegations includes representation from the following: Law Enforcement, Child Protection Services, Prosecution, Medical, Mental Health, Victim Advocacy, Children’s Advocacy Center

2. Cultural Competency: The Children's Advocacy Center provides cultural competent services for all CAC clients throughout the life of the case.

3. Forensic Interviews: Forensic interviews are conducted in a manner that is legally sound, of a fact-finding nature, and are coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing.

4. Victim Support and Advocacy: Victim support and advocacy services are provided to all CAC clients and their caregivers as part of the Multidisciplinary Team response.

5. Medical Evaluation: Specialized medical evaluation and treatment services are available to all CAC clients and coordinated as part of the Multidisciplinary Team response.

6. Mental Health: Evidence-based trauma-focused mental health services, designed to meet the unique needs of the children and caregivers, are consistently available as part of the Multidisciplinary Team response.

7. Case Review: A formal process in which multidisciplinary discussion and information sharing regarding the investigation, case status and services needed by the child and family is to occur on a routine basis.

8. Case Tracking: Children's Advocacy Centers must develop and implement a system for monitoring case progress and tracking case outcomes for all MDT components.

9. Organizational Capacity: A designated legal entity responsible for program and fiscal operations has been established and implements basic sound administrative policies and procedures.

10. Child Focused Setting: The child-focused setting is comfortable, private and both physically and psychologically safe for diverse populations of children and their family members.

Board Members
Sheila Brand
Sheila Brand
President
Sally Kate Winters Child Advocacy Center, Executive Director
Peder Johnson
Peder Johnson
Vice President
Retired BKD Managing Partner
Kim Walley
Kim Walley
Board Treasurer
Southwest Mississippi Child Advocacy Center, Executive Director
Crystal Welch
Crystal Welch
Past President
Mississippi College School of Law, Professor of Law
Katherine Swetman
Katherine Swetman
Secretary
Swetman Photography
Patricia Bennett
Patricia Bennett
Member-at-Large
Mississippi College School of Law Dean
Judge John Hudson
Judge John Hudson
Advisory Member
Mississippi Supreme Court, Jurist in Residence for Youth Courts
Dr. Melissa Stephens
Dr. Melissa Stephens
Member-at-Large
William Carey Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences
DiDi Ellis
DiDi Ellis
Member-at-Large
Kid's Hub Children's Advocacy Center, Executive Director
Nancy Hungerford
Nancy Hungerford
Member-at- Large
Retired Natchez Children's Home Services, Executive Director
Dr. Bev Evans
Dr. Bev Evans
Member-at-Large
Retired Pediatrician/Community Member
Katie Bryant Snell
Katie Bryant Snell
Advisory Board Member
Katie Bryant Snell PLLC, Attorney-at-Law
Sally Williams
Sally Williams
Member-at-Large
Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center, Executive Director
Patti Marshall
Patti Marshall
Member-at-Large
Retired Office of the Attorney General
Marie Sanderson
Marie Sanderson
Member-at-Large
Cardinal Group Policy, Founding Principal

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STAFF
Karla Tye
Karla Tye
Executive Director
Equiller Mahone
Equiller Mahone
Assistant Executive Director
Director of Training
Liz Torricelli
Liz Torricelli
Community Outreach Coordinator
Leann Wann
Leann Wann
Financial & Grant Specialist
Bobby Fort
Bobby Fort
Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator - North
Wendy Copeland
Wendy Copeland
Child Advocacy Studies Coordinator
Lisa Kwasinski
Lisa Kwasinski
Program Director
Kimberly Russell
Kimberly Russell
Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator - South
Rance Bedwell
Rance Bedwell
Data Specialist
Gloria Salters
Gloria Salters
Financial & Grant Specialist