In 2014, county human services and community advocacy leaders sought to address a regional need for a more comprehensive response to child abuse allegations. Case after case, families were referred to out-of-county agencies to meet investigative needs, and children and communities were paying the price. It was through the innovative joint efforts of these leaders that the Lakeshore Regional Child Advocacy Center initiative was born.
In early 2015, the forensic interviewing specialist position was created and continues to be jointly funded by the three counties. Through this program, hundreds of children and their families have already benefited from the multi-disciplinary approach to child abuse investigations. These children are now able to engage in the investigative process without traveling long distances, which would often only increase the hardship that an investigation imposes on a family.
As this initiative has gained momentum, one fact has stood out: our county and community leaders share an enduring commitment to address child abuse head-on, as a united front. As each day passes, more passionate individuals have joined the movement and share the ardent desire to help children and families in what could be their most challenging time. We are all here to foster strength, resiliency, and hope.