Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County is proud to announce the expansion of services to formally include Wise County. On Wednesday, January 8, 2020 representatives from Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County, Wise County law enforcement agencies and the Wise County District Attorney’s Office gathered to celebrate the signing of a memorandum of understanding, launching the new partnership.
Wise County is the largest county in the state of Texas that does not have a dedicated children’s advocacy center ensuring that victims of severe child abuse received coordinated investigation, prosecution and mental health services. The Denton County Advocacy Center has long provided ‘courtesy coverage’ and is now delighted to formally include Wise County in their service area.
The Advocacy Center provides justice and healing for abused children through interagency collaboration and community education. This child-oriented organization serves as a cooperative effort among the involved investigating agencies. A multidisciplinary team is coordinated by the Advocacy Center in the investigation of child sexual and physical abuse, the medical and therapeutic treatment of the victims, and the prosecution of those who victimize children.
Jay Lapham, Assistant District Attorney for Wise and Jack Counties said, “Child abuse cases are the most important cases we handle in Wise County. We are thankful that we have one more tool to protect the children of Wise County.”
The Advocacy Center is thrilled to partner with Wise County law enforcement, the Wise and Jack County District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Family and Protective Services, as well as the Office of Juvenile Probation. Temporary office space for the Advocacy Center will be located in the Decatur Police Department until a permanent space can be secured.
Rex Hoskins, Chief of Police for Decatur, said, “The Decatur Police Department is excited to start a partnership with Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County that will have an office located in Wise County. This partnership is much needed and will be welcomed by the agency, and be an asset to the community.”
Children’s advocacy centers are mandated by the Texas Family Code to respond with wrap-around services when a report of severe child abuse is made.
The Advocacy Center was able to secure a significant lead gift from Texas Health Resources through their THR Impact Grant Program that allowed for 4 new positions to be hired and dedicated to the Wise County response. Additional funding from other local supporters will be necessary to raise