PARSONS – The Randolph Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center hosted an After Hours to give residents a chance to tour the Center and learn more about their work in the communities they serve. Executive Director Margo Kubichek said the organization is currently filling positions made possible through a VOCA – Victims of Crime Assistance Grant.
“We received funding from VOCA in October and with that, we received nearly $65,000,” Kubichek said. “It will fund a part time Tucker County Advocate, a part time forensic interviewer and a caregiver support group.”Kubichek said this will allow for a therapy led support group for caregivers.. “We will have volunteers to provide day care for those attending the sessions,” Kubichek said. “We also hired Patrick O’Brien as our new Family Advocate.”
O’Brien said he is the Advocacy and Prevention Coordinator.
“I will do everything from talking with the kids and their families and making them feel comfortable to taking down information from the parents and sending referrals to different places including hospitals, treatment centers, the court house or going down to the food pantries to take food to the families in need,” O’Brien said. “Currently, I work in both Tucker and Randolph counties.”
O’Brien said he has used his criminal justice degree up to this point, and found he wanted to help the children. “That was the big thing. If people have questions or need help, they just need to call.”
Parsons resident Ruth Alkire has served on the Board of Directors of the Randolph Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center for four years. She said abused children are underserved and people are sometimes reluctant to come forward.
“With the Children’s Advocacy Center, they are encouraged and they know they have a safe place to tell their story,” Alkire said. “Those kids are now interviewed just one time, rather than multiple times and that one interview allows them security with well-trained individuals. The Children’s Advocacy Center offers after care and support systems for the victim and families.”
Alkire said the CAC Board works hard on their fundraisers to assure they offset funding shortages.
“What we are learning is there is no public transportation or taxi service, especially in Tucker County, so when the clients can go to the Tucker County Office it is better than traveling to another county,” Alkire said. “The relationship with the Tucker County Office with the TC Commission and TC law enforcement is going well. People are learning more and people are finding they do not have to take abuse – there is help out there for them.”
Parsons resident Cindy Kolsun also serves on the CAC Board of Directors.
“The Randolph Tucker County Children’s Advocacy Center provides such an important service to Tucker and Randolph counties,” she said. “We are so fortunate to have such professionals in our community to help keep our children safe.”