Children’s Advocacy Center needs praise

The Randolph/Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center should be applauded for maximizing efforts to help children who are victims of crime in the community.

Center Executive Director Lydia Johnson-Grady recently reported she believes her staff is being “fully utilized.” Furthermore, the Center’s newly revised mission statement better reflects the wider range of cases being served.

Crimes involving children can often shake the foundations of the community, and children who are victims need advocacy.

Johnson-Grady reported the Center has helped children who have experienced multiple types of victimization. The knee-jerk reaction might be to think that means more crimes are being committed against children, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Thankfully, we live in a time when society recognizes the need to provide special services to victimized children.

The Center has received more referrals from law enforcement agencies, who can prosecute the criminals but are not equipped to provide the same range of victim services.

It’s refreshing to see partnerships between the Center and organizations like Youth Health Services and Davis Medical Center.

On top of maximizing services, increased reporting, public education and more thorough forensic interviewing, the Center reported a higher conviction rate than anywhere else in the state thanks to law enforcement intervention.

Perhaps Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker said it best: “Our community is blessed with highly devoted and qualified individuals working at the Randolph-Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center, who work to serve the dual purpose of assisting in the investigation while ensuring that appropriate services are available to assist with the victims’ trauma.”