The Redwood County Children’s Advocacy Center (Redwood County CAC), is
the only Children’s Advocacy Center in Southwestern Minnesota. Established in 2011
and originally funded with a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Redwood
County CAC provides a safe space and uses a victim-centered approach to help child
abuse victims. “Investigations into allegations of sexual abuse often require that the victims be interviewed,” said Steven S. Collins, the Redwood County Attorney. “Given the sensitive
nature of those types of interviews, we need a safe place to bring the victims where they
won’t be traumatized further.”
In 2016, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs
awarded the county a grant to help expand the reach of the CAC and to assist in the
accreditation process. Katie Salden was hired as the Coordinator for the CAC and she has worked tirelessly to institute and implement the National Children’s Alliance Standards. She has spent the past eight months partnering with the Minnesota Children’s Alliance to create the CAC protocol and to work toward accreditation.
In April, Katie applied for more grant funding through the Office of Justice Program Crime Victim Services Grant and was awarded additional five-year funding to keep the CAC Program running. The CAC has partnered with the Redwood County Attorney’s office, Southwest Health and Human Services, Western Mental Health, New Horizons Crisis Center, the Redwood County Sheriff ’s office and other local law enforcement to create a multi-disciplinary team to enhance the investigation process of child abuse cases and conduct forensic interviews.
“We have moved forward substantially in the past eight months and are almost ready to open our newly expanded center,” said Collins. “We hope that soon we will have a regional facility that serves all counties in Southwestern Minnesota.” Please join us for an open house from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on October 6, 2016.