Benton County, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A new satellite office is helping an area non-profit help more children facing abuse.
In just a couple of months, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County has already seen dozens of kids at its new office in Gentry.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County serves about a thousand abused children every year from its office in Little Flock. But it felt there were still more victims out there.
“We had had a goal for a long time to better serve the children on the western side of our county,” Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County Executive Director Natalie Tibbs said.
So after years of planning, its satellite office in Gentry opened in November.
“Just by having it there, not only could we have better served the current population of what we are serving at our main location, but it’s going to open the ability for reports to be made that may not have otherwise,” Tibbs said.
It is good timing as Tibbs believes a lot of cases were not reported in the beginning of the pandemic.
“That is not because children were not being abused, it was because they weren’t getting reported because they weren’t in front of mandated reporters,” she said.
Early results show the need. In just the first two months, the CAC has helped 40 abused children out of the satellite office. Now, it needs more people to help out. Since the pandemic began, volunteer hours dropped in half.
“We’ve seen a huge decrease in people who are willing and able to and that has hurt. It’s hurt greatly,” Tibbs said.
And nows a good time to sign up, as the CAC prepares for a busy 2021. If you would like to volunteer or want to see a list of items you could potentially donate, click here.