The West Texas Children's Advocacy Center will host this month's Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce coffee event at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at their office, located at 317 Oak Street.
Each year, countless children suffer from abuse and neglect. All too often they are victimized by the very adults charged with protecting and providing for them, adults these children love and need. Unfortunately, in an effort to come to the aid of abused children, child abuse professionals may unintentionally cause additional suffering to child victims and their families, as civil and criminal justice systems were generally not created with child victims in mind. The West Texas Children's Advocacy Center, serving Nolan, Mitchell, Fisher, Scurry and Borden Counties, strives to bring sensitivity, responsiveness, unity and efficiency to investigations of child abuse through the use of a multidisciplinary team by coordinating investigations and sharing information and resources. The team is comprised of law enforcement, the Department of Family and Protective Services, medical and mental health professionals, prosecutors and other individuals and disciplines as necessary. The Center and its partners work together to provide the best possible services to restore the lives of victims of child abuse, their families and the community.
Established in 2000, West Texas Children's Advocacy Center works with children and teens age 0-17, conducting forensic interviewing on an average of 25 children and providing ongoing services to victims and their non-offending family members. Located at 317 Oak Street in Sweetwater, Texas, under Executive Director Teresa Zarate, the Center operates on the belief that the best interests of the child should be protected above all else. "The Center also offers a child-friendly environment where children and non-offending family members can feel safe and comfortable during traumatic times," says Zarate.
Interagency partners include the 132nd District Attorney's Office, 32nd Judicial District Attorney's Office, Borden County Sheriff, Colorado City Police Department, Fisher County Sheriff's Office, High Sky Children's Ranch, Mitchell County Sheriff's Office, Nolan County Sheriff's Office, Roscoe Police Department, Scurry County Sheriff, Snyder Police Department, Sweetwater Police Department and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.