News Release: Child Abuse Responders Mark 20 Years of Partnership Protecting Richland County Kids

Columbia, SC – On Tuesday, April 3, 2018, Metropolitan Children’s Advocacy Center (Advocacy Center) will host a rededication of the Richland County Child Abuse Response Team Investigative Protocol, commemorating 20 years of partnership serving Richland County children who have suffered abuse and neglect. The ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Advocacy Center’s Offices, located at 3710 Landmark Drive, Suite 300, Columbia.

The Advocacy Center is a member of the Richland County Child Abuse Investigation Multi-Disciplinary Team, which comprises local law enforcement, Department of Social Services (DSS), The Solicitor's Office, Forensic Medical providers, mental health providers, and victims’ services providers, who are dedicated to ensuring a collaborative approach to investigating child abuse in Richland County.

The mission of the Team is to ensure coordinated investigations and collaborative action plans addressing suspected child abuse and neglect. It works diligently to coordinate investigations of allegations and ensure that the impact of investigations do not negatively affect children.

Leadership from the Team’s partnering agencies will attend, including Sheriff Leon Lott from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Regional Director Dawn Barton from Richland County DSS, as well as representatives from the Irmo, Forest Acres, and Columbia Police Departments, and the Fifth Circuit Solicitors Office.

The Metropolitan Children’s Advocacy Center, a program under the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s Columbia Area Mental Health Center, is a nationally accredited Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). Through collaboration with the USC School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, it provides integrated services for children across South Carolina who are suspected of being sexually or physically abused. It also provides Forensic interviews and medical exams, court preparation for children, expert testimony in Family and Criminal Court, victim advocacy, and focused therapeutic and educational interventions. Accredited through the National Children’s Alliance in Washington, DC, it is the only state-funded CAC in South Carolina. It serves more than 1,000 children each year.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 22, 2018
Contact:   SCDMH Office of Public Affairs
Phone: (803) 898-8581
E-mail: tracy.lapointe@scdmh.org