Child Advocacy Center makes steps towards opening


TROY – The Miami County Child Advocacy Center is in the final stages of creation and implementation after securing funding from the Miami County Board of Commissioners for the start-up costs.

“We are so thankful for their funding. It really got the ball moving,” said Jennifer Knisely, a case manager with Isaiah’s Place. The center is located at Isaiah’s Place at 1100 Wayne St., Troy.

Isaiah’s Place is working closely with various organizations and departments in Miami County to create a Child Advocacy Center to serve the children of Miami County who have experienced abuse.

The other organizations and departments include local law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, children’s services, victim witness, mental health clinicians, and medical partners. Each organization or department has sent representatives to create the center, the policies, and the procedures that the center will be expected to follow for each case.

The goal of a Child Advocacy Center is to provide a multi-disciplinary response to victims and to provide efficient and quality investigations by providing timely responses, resources, and improved outcomes.

The center consists of two rooms. The first room is where the child will be interviewed where the interview will be recorded and played in the other room where any officials and necessary individuals will be able to listen to the interview. This prevents the child from having to retell their story multiple times, which could be more traumatic.

According to Knisely, the center has already been utilized for various cases that have been brought to them.

“It’s really allowed us to work out some bumps in the process and provide solutions,” said Knisely.

The center also received funding from various cities and villages in the area which will utilize the center’s program. They have also applied for a federal grant which Knisely hopes to utilize for a full-time therapist to provide to victims.

The team is currently in the process of creating the policies the center will have to follow.

“We’ve made it through the initial intake process and case criteria. It would be nice to have the majority of it all done by January,” commented Knisely.

“The team has already started collaborating and that’s the most exciting part. They’re asking each other questions and giving advice,” Knisely said.

“We appreciate the faith. It can be hard to get behind something you haven’t seen in the face,” said Knisely, thanking various commissioners, city managers, mayors, and other individuals who have listened to the team’s presentation to gain funds for the center. “It’s not a topic that we should be avoiding. We are providing something to enhance the judicial experience and hopefully work towards prevention.”

Knisely hopes the program is able to “outlast any of [the team]” and to morph and become better.

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