The James M. Barrie Center for Children Inc. in Gadsden will receive an $80,370 grant to serve victims in Etowah County and a $50,285 grant will support services provided by the Children’s Advocacy Center of Cherokee County in Centre.
“Child abuse victims need access to professional assistance,” Bentley said. “Both the Barrie Center and the Children’s Advocacy Center render important services that help innocent victims to recover.”
The organizations bring together professionals from law enforcement, social services and other fields to work with victims. A child-friendly atmosphere is provided and young victims are required to tell the story of their abuse only once, eliminating the trauma of multiple interviews. Staff members provide counseling for victims and family members not involved in the abuse.
Along with grant funds, the organizations depend heavily on private donations to ensure a full range of free services are available to victims.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bentley informed Scott Hindsman, president of the Barrie Center’s board, and Lynn Rochester, president of the Children’s Center board, that the grants had been approved.