Children’s Advocacy Center gets national recognition

Oct 31, 2013

The Peoria County Children's Advocacy Center is receiving  national recognition for its work with child abuse victims.   The National Children's Alliance designated the center with a five year accreditation.  Donna Cruz is an Assistant Peoria County State's Attorney and heads the Center. She says the national honor recognizes the way the center investigates alleged child abuse cases. She says that includes using specially-trained interviewers to talk to children in a non-threatening environment:

 “Children are not just short adults.  They have very different developmental stages, language abilities, memories.  You can’t take a four or five-year-old child and ask them the question that you could ask an adult and hope to have them understand the question and give you an answer,” Cruz says.  

 Cruz says the Center works with law enforcement, the state Department of Children and Family Services and medical officials to help both children and their families. She says the program sees about 220 child abuse cases each year.