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 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
    Crystal Welch
    Crystal Welch
    President
    Mississippi College School of Law, Professor of Law
    Sheila Brand
    Sheila Brand
    Vice President
    Sally Kate Winters Child Advocacy Center, Executive Director
    Katherine Swetman
    Katherine Swetman
    Secretary
    Swetman Photography
    Nancy Hungerford
    Nancy Hungerford
    Past President
    Natchez Children's Home Services, Executive Director
    Patricia Bennett
    Patricia Bennett
    Member-at-Large
    Mississippi College School of Law Dean
    Judge John Hudson
    Judge John Hudson
    Member-at-Large
    Mississippi Supreme Court, Jurist in Residence for Youth Courts
    Peder Johnson
    Peder Johnson
    Member-at-Large
    BDK Managing Partner
    Niki Lowery
    Niki Lowery
    Member-at-Large
    Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, Vice President of Special Events & Projects
    Dr. Melissa Stephens
    Dr. Melissa Stephens
    Member-at-Large
    William Carey Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences
    Kim Walley
    Kim Walley
    Member-at-Large
    Southwest Mississippi Child Advocacy Center, Executive Director
    DiDi Ellis
    DiDi Ellis
    Member-at-Large
    Kid's Hub Children's Advocacy Center, Executive Director
    Dr. Bev Evans
    Dr. Bev Evans
    Advisory Board Member
    Retired Pediatrician/Community Member
    Katie Bryant Snell
    Katie Bryant Snell
    Advisory Board Member
    Katie Bryant Snell PLLC, Attorney-at-Law

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    STAFF
    Karla Tye
    Karla Tye
    Executive Director
    Program Specialist - MDT and Forensic Interviews
    Hollie Jeffery
    Hollie Jeffery
    Director of Training
    Christy Ainsworth
    Christy Ainsworth
    CAST Coordinator
    Liz Torricelli
    Liz Torricelli
    Community Outreach Coordinator
    Leann Wann
    Leann Wann
    Financial Director
    Casey Loper
    Casey Loper
    Victim Advocate Coordinator
    Katherine Bullie
    Katherine Bullie
    MDT Enhancement Coordinator
    Scott Swafford
    Scott Swafford
    Data Specialist

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