"The effectiveness of both the prosecution of the offender and treatment of the child has been vastly increased under the CAC model. It's less expensive and more efficient. Communication is key."
Burns said the "heart and soul" of the CAC is a multidisciplinary team and a forensic interviewer.
In the interviewer, the CAC has a specially trained, neutral individual – governed by the family code – who excels in obtaining evidence from children in regard to the criminal prosecution of child abuse cases.
When a child is brought to CAC, the interviewer conducts a private exchange with the child that is both recorded on DVD for law enforcement use and watched live on the other side of the building by CAC personnel. After the interview is complete, the multidisciplinary team comes together to discuss the case and follow it through every phase until its total completion.
CAC hopes to start serving local children within the next couple of months. Needless to say, the CAC model is one that Burns and the rest of the CAC staff firmly believe in.
"I've been privileged to serve as president of the corporation," Burns said. "It's been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. It is a very worthwhile project."
County Judge David Nicklas expressed his support for the program after the presentation.
"(We want to do) everything we can for the kids of Palo Pinto County," he said.
CAC Executive Director Libby Cluett said she was grateful for the support of the county and CAC's many generous donors. She and her coworkers are eager to begin the work that they are so passionate about.
"Since we're the new guys in town, it's wonderful to have the support of the Commissioners' Court and the county," she said. "We just got our certificate of occupancy, Monday (for our building at 203 SE 3rd Ave. in Mineral Wells). The next step is to move in."