Will County Children’s Advocacy Center honored by Community Service Council of Will County

April 19

The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center was named Outstanding Agency in Human Services Award for 2012 by the Community Service Council of Will County Inc.  Pictured are (from left): Childrens’ Advocacy Center Case Manager Pat Werner; Advocacy Center Board Member Dave Thornton; Community Service Council President R. Dale Evans Sr.; Board Member Mike Mikuska; State’s Attorney James Glasgow; Board Member and County Auditor Duffy Blackburn; Board Member Dennis Wolff; Advocacy Center Executive Director Sue Bloch; and Therapy Dog handler Cheri Johnson along with Jackson.

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is pleased to announce that the Community Service Council of Will County Inc. has chosen the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center to receive its Outstanding Agency in Human Services Award for 2012.

The Community Service Council has been honoring agencies and individuals who provide important services to the greater Will County community for 73 years. The honor was presented to the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center during its annual awards breakfast, “A Salute to Service,” on April 19 at the Jacob Henry Victorian Ballroom in Joliet.

“This distinguished honor is a testimony to the important work the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center performs on behalf of children who have fallen victim to dangerous predators,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “For 17 years, the center’s trained and caring staff has played a vital role in bringing dangerous child abusers to justice while simultaneously placing vulnerable children and their families on the path toward healing. We are truly humbled that the Community Services Council has chosen to recognize our work.”

The Children’s Advocacy Center was established by Glasgow in 1995 to improve the way child abuse cases are investigated and to minimize the trauma to young victims. The center’s staff performs child-sensitive interviews when there are allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. These interviews, conducted by caring professionals in a non-suggestive, child-friendly environment, have been used to successfully prosecute hundreds of child predators.

The staff also directs children and their families to important medical, counseling and legal services that enable the healing process to begin.

The State’s Attorney founded the center as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization so it would not impact local taxpayers. The State’s Attorney and his staff have taken creative steps over the years to raise the funds necessary to operate the Center.

Under the State’s Attorney’s direction, the center’s staff:

  • Conducted 320 child-sensitive interviews during 2011;
  • Provided 960 hours of on-site therapy for children by licensed clinical social workers at no cost to children or caregivers in 2011;
  • Conducted four successful “Men Who Cook” fundraisers to raise both funding for and awareness of the Children’s Advocacy Center;
  • Established the Paws 4 Kids program in which a licensed therapy dog greets and comforts abused children and their families.

The newest program, Paws 4 Kids, involves Jackson, a Labrador Retriever that welcomes children upon their arrival at the Children’s Advocacy Center. Jackson keeps them company while preparations are made for interviews. While he is not in the room when children are interviewed, Jackson stays to play with siblings and even their parents or caregivers while they wait for interviews to conclude. The program is available to children at no cost to taxpayers or the Center.

For information about the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, call (815) 774-4565 or visit online at www.willcountychildrensadvocacy.org.