By CHRIS AGEE
The newly minted board of directors for the Children's Alliance Center for Palo Pinto County met last week for the first time and looks forward to an open house event this week to showcase the agency's new home.
District Attorney Mike Burns, who serves as the CAC board president, said he is satisfied with the organization's progress so far.
"I was pleased with the participation and enthusiasm demonstrated by members of our board during our first board meeting last Tuesday," he said. "It is exciting to see so many professionals from different but complementary disciplines come together in a common effort for the benefit of the children of our community."
Plans for the center's creation began last summer with individuals from varied fields expressing interest in becoming involved.
Ada McCloud, program specialist for Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas, was on hand for the initial presentation last August, during which she explained the basic purpose of establishing a countywide center.
"Their ability to share information make CACs different than any other model out there," she explained, as those involved represent diverse experience in handling cases of child abuse.
In addition to Burns, those serving on the board include officials from city and county law enforcement, schools, Child Protective Services, and the ministerial community.
That range of experience is specifically designed to help deal with the entire spectrum of child abuse, up to and including the prosecution of offenders.
Board member Joy Eaton explained the center received a building in the 200 block of S.E. 3rd Avenue as a donation and will use the property for its headquarters.
She explained the agency is still a few months away from taking cases, though she noted the project is moving along about three months ahead of schedule.