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The Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris is proud to announce the addition of a new program, OnSite Mental Health, which will provide free counseling for child victims of crime in Lamar and Red River Counties.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris is also very pleased to introduce Charity Johnson as the full time “staff” therapist. Ms. Johnson will be heading up the new program.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris (CAC), located at 711 Pine Bluff St. in the historic Mary Moore Seawright home, is the non-profit organization that brings together local law enforcement, Child Protective Services, the District Attorney’s office as well as other agencies involved in the investigations of child abuse, creating a Multi-Disciplinary Team.
CAC is modeled on the simple, but powerful concept of coordination and teamwork; building stronger cases that result in higher prosecution rates all the while striving to reduce the trauma experienced by the child victims and their families while they work through a difficult situation. Currently, the services offered at The Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris include forensic interviewing, family advocacy, on- and off- site SANE exams, rainbow room services, community education and awareness, and referrals for mental health services to outside partner agencies.
With the addition of this new onsite program, child abuse victims and their families will be able to receive mental health services to help them cope with the crime that occurred.
“The mental health services our clients will receive will be specifically designed to help them deal with the abuse they experienced and to help them get back to being a kid and living a life free from the fear of violence and abuse” according to CAC’s Executive Director, Rebecca Peevy.
Recent studies show that victims of child abuse are experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome symptoms as a result of the abuse and trauma they suffered which are not being addressed by regular counseling, but must be addressed by utilizing a new form of therapy, “Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” (also known as TF-CBT). Ms. Johnson will receive training in TF-CBT and will be using it as she assists children and families in the healing process.
Ms. Johnson has over four years’ experience in working for Child Protective Services in the Fort Worth area and is very excited about joining the Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris’ team. According to Ms. Johnson, “My family and I are happy and honored to be joining this wonderful city and to be of service to the precious children of Paris.”
Ms. Peevy stated, “It has taken a lot of hard work to lay the ground work for the addition of this new program and therapist, but we are excited as we expand our services to provide a place where child abuse victims and their families to go to receive comprehensive services while they journey through a difficult situation.”
The funding for this new program and position came about through several funding sources including the RAM Foundation, United Way of Lamar County and Victims of Crime Act (through the Attorney General of Texas, Greg Abbott). Ms. Peevy added, “Without these funders, this program would not be possible. They have helped us provide hope, healing and justice to the youngest victims of crime.”
- – Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris