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Lifestyles

Walnut Rotary Club members learn about Braveheart

WALNUT — On Feb. 7, the Walnut Rotary had the pleasure of hearing from Constance King, representative from Braveheart Children Advocacy Center.

King started her presentation off with having members imagine a parent getting a call from the school about a possible incident. She walked members through the emotional process as the scenario unfolded. Quite a powerful vision.

Braveheart coordinates our community’s response to reports of child sexual abuse, severe child physical abuse, or witness to other traumatic crime. Before Children’s Advocacy Centers, kids and teens had to be interviewed and share their story over and over again, to each individual agency involved. Now, team members from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, law enforcement, State’s Attorney’s Office’s and specialized providers come together at Braveheart.

This coordinated team effort reduces the number of interviews a child must go through during the course of an investigation. One person interviews the child while team members observe from another room through a closed circuit TV. The interview is recorded to capture a permanent record of the child or teen’s statement. Braveheart staff provide support to families through the investigation and criminal court process.

Braveheart maintains contact with the team members involved and is able to keep the family informed as the case travels through the different systems. The staff provides advocacy, education, case management and referral services. Most services are offered free to the families.

Braveheart first opened its doors in Cambridge to serve Henry County in 1999. Braveheart expanded, partnering with Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties in 2002 and Bureau County in 2007.

For more information, visit Braveheart CAC website at www.braveheartcac.org or call 309-937-5663.

The Rotary Club of Walnut meets six times a month at the Walnut Café. For more information on how to become a member of Rotary, contact President Mary Beach at 815- 379-3053 or at metbeachlaw@gmail.com.

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