Story by: Melissa Gregory
Victims advocates from across Central Louisiana wrapped up three days of training Friday in Alexandria.
The training, hosted by the Children’s Advocacy Center, is being taught by the National Children’s Advocacy Center at the Alexandria Public Safety Complex on Bolton Avenue.
In addition to providing great networking opportunities, classes train the advocates on issues like their roles, caregiver support, crisis intervention, ethics and working with multidisciplinary teams.
The Children’s Advocacy Center, based in Alexandria, provides services in eight Central Louisiana parishes. Children who have been abused or who are witnesses to violent crimes can be interviewed at the center by forensic interviewers, while law enforcement or social workers can watch from another room.
They also can discreetly communicate with the interviewers.
The goal is to allow children to tell their stories and receive services — in one spot, during one visit — so that they don’t have to relive the trauma multiple times.
Dan Schaub is the center’s director. He said the center brought in victims advocates from other groups — like district attorneys offices, the Family Justice Center of Central Louisiana and more — so that everyone can work together with the same standards.
“That’s the whole thing,” he said. “Bring them all together, because we all provide the same services.”
Being able to work from the same standards will help agencies communicate with their clients and each other more effectively, said Schaub.
Participants also can leave this training with national certification, he said.
Although this training was sponsored by the center, it’s active in other events, too. On Monday, the center will participate in a day-long discussion in Alexandria on helping foster youth transition into adulthood.
And, coming up on April 27, Holi Festival 2019 will be held in downtown Alexandria. The seventh annual color run and festival benefits the center.