JASPER — Dubois County Community Foundation announces a $560,000 grant to Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition for its new child advocacy center in Dubois County.

“Dubois County must be a community that prioritizes and invests in our children,” said Clayton Boyles, executive director of the community foundation. “This project is a vital component of caring for children who have been abused or neglected, and we need to be a community looking out for them."

Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools donated the Fifth Street Elementary School property to SWICACC in February. The west portion of the building will undergo a facilities renovation and then be repurposed to a child advocacy center named Center on Fifth. The $560,000 community foundation grant goes toward a $1.1 million fundraising goal needed for renovation costs.

A child advocacy center is a child-friendly facility in which a team approach is taken to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect. A multidisciplinary team includes medical, law enforcement, Indiana Department of Child Services, prosecution, mental health, and victim advocates working together to investigate abuse, hold offenders accountable and help children and their families heal.

“Child abuse is an epidemic that reaps havoc on our communities,” said Tammy Lampert, SWICACC director. “The new child advocacy center will be a regional resiliency center and directly improve outcomes for children by offering all the services the child needs in one child-friendly location."

The $560,000 grant was made possible by The Fund for Dubois County, John and Bobbi Jo Bell and several anonymous donors of the community foundation.

“The Fund for Dubois County, our unrestricted endowment pool, gives us the flexibility to address unmet needs in our community such as this," Boyles said. "Our donors stepped up in a big way which is a testament to their passion for this project. To make this significant of a grant would not have otherwise been possible. We have a strong partner in SWICACC, alignment with our strategic plan and engaged donors, all required for an investment of this scale."

Lampert said: “A child advocacy center serves as a home-base for all of the trained professionals to come together in one place for the benefit of the child. It has been proven that children benefit and can even thrive in the aftermath of abuse when the response is child-focused and multidisciplinary."

SWICACC, a nonprofit established in 2009, provides forensic interviewing services to children reporting abuse in Region 17 which includes, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Martin, Orange, Perry and Spencer counties. Since then, more than 756 Dubois County children have received SWICACC services due to a report of maltreatment.
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