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April Member Highlight: Morgan County Child Advocacy Center

The Chamber's Member Highlight for April is the Morgan County Child Advocacy Center located at 801 Church St NE in Decatur. We spoke with Executive Director Misty Cowger to find out more about this nonprofit organization.

Describe your organization, including the history and services you provide? The purpose of the Morgan County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is to provide help and healing to children. Our vision is that no child who has experienced abuse will have to suffer in silence. The CAC was incorporated in 2003, and opened its doors to children in 2006. Since then, the CAC has expanded both the staff and services provided to the Morgan County community. Currently, the CAC provides forensic interviews, victim advocacy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and certified facility dog services, all free of charge to the children and families served by the agency.

What makes your organization stand out? The CAC is the only agency providing specialized intervention services to children and families in Morgan County. At this time, we have the only certified courthouse facility dog in our county, as well as the only practicing Nationally Certified TF-CBT therapist in Decatur (as per the National Registry). Prior to the existence of Child Advocacy Centers, children were questioned multiple times throughout the investigative process causing them additional trauma. Because of the CAC, the number of times children are questioned about abuse is minimized substantially.

How has your organization changed in the last few years? In addition to a much needed office makeover and a logo update, over the past several years, we have made a coordinated effort to connect more with the community. Because we are an agency that most people don’t know about until they need us, we want the community to know who we are on a larger scale. In turn, this opens doors for us to share who we are, provide specialized trainings and help more children and families.

What do you see for the future of your organization? In an ideal world (and with the appropriate funding), we would love to see the CAC expand to a larger facility. Currently, our office is bursting at the seams, which is limiting the ability to hire additional staff to meet the needs of children and families in Morgan County.



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