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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey awarded grants totaling $1.58 million to help sexual assault and child abuse victims in north Alabama.

The National Children’s Advocacy Center Intervention and Clinical Director Paula Wolfteich says their center is completely reliant on these funds. “Two-thirds of our budget is paid for through ADECA funding,” says Wolfteich.

Each service the NCAC provides helps abused children and their family members receive needed care.

“When kids come here, it’s the beginning of their journey, their ability to tell their story and get some help and recover,” says Wolfteich. She adds that the work they do, not only helps families recover, it prevents re-victimization which helps make the community safer.

“I think nothing is more important than working with vulnerable children and their families and helping caregivers help their children to recover from abuse and go on to live normal lives.”

Governor Kay Ivey says all victims, young and old, deserve access to help and advocacy tailored to their specific needs. “I commend these organizations for helping victims and their families begin the healing process from the worst of events,” says the governor.

The National Children’s Advocacy Center will use $1 million in grant funds to continue providing services including forensic interviews, trauma-focused and evidence-based mental health treatment, specialized medical exams, family advocacy, and waiting room support. These services will help abused children and their non-offending family members to receive the care they need in DeKalb, Jackson, Madison, Marshall, and Morgan counties. Local matching funds of $176,495 will supplement the grant.

Family Services of North Alabama will use a $261,673 grant to continue assisting victims in DeKalb and Marshall counties. Through its North Alabama Sexual Assault Support Services Program, it provides direct services to victims of sexual assault such as a 24/7 crisis line and intervention, legal and medical advocacy and counseling and therapy by a contracted licensed therapist. Matching funds of $30,000 will supplement the grant.

The Children’s Advocacy of Cherokee County is using a $244,193 grant to continue providing services to child abuse victims and their families in Cherokee County. Victims will be interviewed by trained forensic interviewers in a child-friendly, home-like setting and will receive counseling, court preparation, and accompaniment. Local matching funds of $61,048 will supplement the grant.