CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) – The Child Advocacy Center held a legislative lunch to showcase what the organization does for the community.

Community members and officials were invited to see what happens at the facility and the importance of the centers action.

The Child Advocacy Center of Clearfield County opened its door in 2016. The child-focused center allows abused child survivors to tell their stories and get the help they need.

“Well, I think it’s really important to make sure people understand what we are and to invite community members and the news and media in to understand the importance of what we’re doing for children in our county,” Director of the Child Advocacy Center Mary Tatum said.

Part of the lunch today was to celebrate how the center has received three national accreditations.

“So we were awarded our accreditation status full accreditation, so we meet all there standards and that was in June 2022. Locally it’s helpful because it’s something to be proud of and it tells my team members and community that were doing the best practices,” Tatum said.

The services provided by the center include a multidisciplinary team, advocacy, child forensic interviews, mental health services, medical services, outreach, and training.

“This organization is so interval to the criminal justice process but not just us but passages, and overall the youth of our county. What Mary Tatum does here and her staff helps find out if kids need help and what help they need,” said Sayers.

The center has been seeing a rise in the number of individuals that they are helping.

“This year by the end of June 2022 we were at 119 children so we’ve seen a big influx in the number of kiddos which we’re projecting 240-250 children will be served this year,” said Tatum.

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Tatum says that getting kids’ help now is easier than waiting until they are adults. Helping children now means that those individuals can continue to grow and become the most productive members of society.