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One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
- Forest E. Witcraft
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KeeYoung Boyd

KeeYoung Boyd

Website URL: E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center, which will serve Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier counties, has received confirmation from the Internal Revenue Service a nonprofit 501(c)(3) youth organization.

“Quite honestly, we were amazed to have received word back from the IRS so quickly. From the day the application packet and filing fees were mailed to the IRS, it took less than 20 days to get an affirmative answer back," said Barry Fain of Jefferson County, a founder and member of SafeHarbor's board of directors. Many applications are returned for candidates to supply additional information or for other reasons.

"Since we began the effort to establish this center to serve child-victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and severe neglect, our pace has been fast and furious. But, that is a great thing in our eyes," Fain said.

"Our board members and volunteers have performed wonderfully with such a quick succession of events," Donna Koester, president of the board, said. "We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and involved group working for the children in the four counties we are here to serve."

In addition to the receipt of the nonprofit status with the IRS, SafeHarbor's board will get a donation from First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson City. The church recently held its annual yard sale to benefit local mission projects, including SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center. Based on past years' sales, SafeHarbor expects to receive approximately $3,500 from First Presbyterian this year.

"We are extremely grateful for First Presbyterian's faith in our efforts and desire to support our organization service of child-victims of abuse in the four county district," Fain said.

During Old Time Saturday in Jefferson City and First Presbyterian's annual yard sale, SafeHarbor maintained informational booths at the yard sale and at the festival downtown, to distribute literature and answer questions.

"We received a very positive response at both locations," Koester said.

To learn more about SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center, visit www.SafeHarborCAC.com or call Koester at 453-2638 or Fain at 471-1898.

Barry Fain, a founding board member conducts a one-on-one interview with WJFC radio host Tommy Hubbard to discuss the SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center and its mission in Jefferson County and the rest of the 4th Judicial District.
Pat Head Summitt, University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers head coach and record setter, has signed on with the SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center as their official spokesperson for the coming year.  SafeHarbor serves child-victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect in Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier Counties in Tennessee’s 4th Judicial District.

Barry Fain, a co-founder and member of the board of directors for SafeHarbor, states, “We are very excited about Pat joining our efforts to help the children of the 4th Judicial District.  Pat understands that sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect are significant traumas in a child’s life.  And, she feels led to do what she can to bring this issue to the forefront, so that it can be addressed.” 

In addition to her coaching duties at the University of Tennessee, Summitt is very active in community and civic initiatives, having been recognized by several local, state and national organizations for her hard work and dedication to community activities.  “Pat’s history demonstrates a person who is not afraid of hard work and meeting goals, both personally and professionally.  And, those are the characteristics that will continue to move SafeHarbor forward in its efforts to serve child-victims of abuse”, notes Fain.

To learn more about SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center, Inc., visit their website at www.SafeHarborCAC.com.

     Area residents have been hard at work laying the groundwork for the SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center. And this week, their hard work as recognized when Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt has agreed to serve as spokeswoman.
     The child advocacy center would assist children who are victims of suspected sexual or physical abuse and severe neglect. It would serve children in Sevier, Jefferson, Cocke and Grainger counties.
     Summitt has volunteered to record public service announcements encouraging support of the center. She will also serve as keynote speaker at a fund-raising event to be held in the spring, Koester said.
     With Summitt's help, the center may get the help it needs to get up and running. Thanks coach.
A media event has been scheduled to promote the signing of an Interagency Agreement promoting the establishment of the 4th Judicial District Children’s Advocacy Center, serving Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier Counties

Participants in the signing will include the District Attorney General, juvenile court judges and law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction in the district, as well as Department of Children’s Services supervisors.  The event is scheduled for August 18 at 10:00am at the Sevier County Courthouse in the 3rd floor meeting room. 

Officials from Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier Counties are invited and encouraged to attend this historic event.

The Interagency Agreement is an integral part of the process to establish a CAC to serve sexually and severely physically abused/neglected children in the four county district.  To learn more about the 4th Judicial District Children’s Advocacy Center, please contact either Donna Koester at (865) 453-2638 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Barry Fain at (865) 471-1898

Taskforce members at the third informational meeting of the 4th Judicial District Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) got down to business Tuesday night.  Those in attendance included representatives from Cocke, Jefferson, Grainger and Sevier Counties.  One of the main objectives was to begin establishing an executive board consisting of at least a chairperson, a treasurer and a secretary, which is a pre-requisite for the CAC to begin filing for the needed 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. 

Three people were nominated and accepted appointments to the mandatory posts.  Donna Koester of Sevier County accepted the position of Board Chairperson.  Barry Fain of Jefferson County accepted the position of Board Treasurer.  And, Jennifer Shelton of Cocke County accepted the position of Board Secretary.  Three other persons accepted positions on the new governing board as well: Connie Ball, Mayor of Newport; Marian Oates, a longtime child advocate from Sevierville; and Crystal Ratcliff, a DCS Team Leader in Sevier County.

The meeting opened with the comments from the special guest speaker, District Attorney General Al Schmutzer.  The General strongly emphasized to the crowd that his office and he fully support the creation of the 4th Judicial center to serve child-victims in the four county district.  Schmutzer also emphasized how a center such as this can assist law enforcement and his office in building more solid cases, leading to an increased prosecution rate, as it has in other parts of Tennessee and the nation. 

Detective Sgt. Perry Moyers of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Unit addressed the audience in relation to his experience working with ChildHelp USA, the advocacy center in Knoxville.  Moyers told the group, “I cannot say enough good things about my experiences working with the staff of the CAC in Knoxville.”  Moyers emphasized to the group how beneficial it is to have a specially trained forensic interviewer that can develop the needed rapport with a child, speaking on the child’s level, which is not a strong-suit for your average interviewer.  Moyers also noted that, “The true victim of child abuse is a truly innocent victim, the child.  If you or I walk out this door tonight and someone attacks us, we can probably think of something we have done in our lives to deserve it.  But, a child is completely innocent.  And, at no time do they deserve to suffer abuse at anyone’s hand.”

Devin Koester, a Sevierville attorney, volunteered his services in preparing and filing the paperwork with the IRS for the 501(c)(3) status.  Additionally, Carolyn Berryhill of Jefferson City volunteered her expertise and services to make application for grants from government and private sources to underwrite the center’s operations.  Barry Fain also indicated that he has received an offer from Lucas-Francis Studios of Dandridge, to conduct a fundraiser and aid in the application of murals to the children’s areas of the center.

The 4th Judicial District Children’s Advocacy Center will serve child-victims of sexual and/or severe physical abuse in Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier Counties.  No location has been determined for the center.  The newly appointed executive board is encouraging any person(s) interested in contributing a site to contact them to discuss such a donation.  To learn more about this particular center or volunteer your expertise, please contact either Donna Koester at (865) 453-2638, Barry Fain at (865) 471-1898, or Crystal Ratcliff at (865) 429-7012.  To get more information on child advocacy centers in general, please visit www.tncac.org.

DANDRIDGE - Obviously, the first victim in any child abuse situation, whether sexual or physical abuse, is the child.  That was the central theme of Trudy Hughes’, executive director of the Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center, presentation at the second informational meeting to develop a children’s advocacy center in the 4th Judicial District.  And, armed with the understanding of whom the primary victim is, representative from various disciplines and parts of the 4th Judicial District, including Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier Counties, turned out to get more information on the creation and implementation of a CAC serving the four (4) county district.  Those in attendance included the judiciary, law enforcement, prosecutors, juvenile court personnel, case workers, mental health professionals, school personnel, business people, and a host of other concerned citizens.

Barry Fain, a coordinator of the CAC efforts for Jefferson County and a local Juvenile Court official, reflected on the meeting saying, “Many concerned people took time out of their busy personal schedules to learn more about the CAC concept tonight.  And, many were taken aback with the statistical breakdown for the percentage of children impacted by child abuse in our district.”  Between 6/20/04 and 6/20/05, a total of 5,334 cases of alleged abuse were reported in the 4th Judicial District, according to DCS records.  Those totals break down as follows for the district: Sevier – 2,088; Jefferson – 1,561; Cocke – 1,118; and Grainger – 567.

“I think it was very sobering”, Fain observed, “to most of our attendees that the twelve (12) month total of 1,561 reported child abuse cases in Jefferson County constituted roughly 14% of our children.”  “And, that”, Fain concluded, “is only 1,561 of a total 5334 cases for the entire judicial district.”  Statistics on the estimated impact, using U.S. Census figures as a starting point, were shared at the meeting.  Estimates projected the following breakdown for affected children in the counties comprising the district: Sevier – 11.64%; Jefferson – 14.06%; Cocke – 14%; and Grainger – 11.13%.

Kirk Lane, Regional Administrator for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, pointed out to the crowd, “Twenty-eight (28) of the 31 judicial districts in Tennessee have a children’s advocacy center.  The 4th Judicial District is one of the only three (3) remaining without one of these crucial centers.”  Lane pointed out that the centers have been embraced so widely, because they are so effective in protecting and serving children, while simultaneously providing a more solid case for the prosecution of abuse perpetrators.  As Fain puts it, “It is a win-win situation for everyone.  The child and non-offending family members are far less traumatized, receiving much needed treatment.  And, law enforcement and prosecutors end up with the ability to build a better case for conviction of the perpetrators.”

A third informational meeting will be held in Sevierville on 6/26/05 (Tuesday) from 6:00-8:00pm in the 3rd floor meeting room of the Courthouse Annex.  This meeting is open to anyone interested.  Persons interested in attending are asked to RSVP with Donna Koester at (865) 453-2638 or Crystal Ratcliff at (865) 429-7012.

© The Herald Newspapers - 2005

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In the last twelve (12) months ending June 20th, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has recorded 5334 reports of alleged child abuse, including sexual and severe physical abuse or neglect cases, in the 4th Judicial District of Tennessee, the counties of Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier.  A breakdown by county of these specific referrals indicates 2,088 in Sevier County, 1,561 in Jefferson County, 1,118 in Cocke County and 567 in Grainger County.  In many of these situations, the children have been victimized, are already frightened, and end up being interviewed multiple times in office settings that do nothing to make the situation any less traumatic for them to repeatedly recount horrific incidents.  Ultimately, the very system intended to serve them ends up making them feel victimized, yet again.  But, there is hope!

A group of concerned citizens representing the various parts of the 4th Judicial District will be holding an informational meeting on July 14th at 6:00pm at the Dandridge Ruritan Park on Hwy. 92 in Jefferson County, to continue their work of establishing a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in the 4th Judicial District, similar to those found in other judicial districts throughout the State of Tennessee.  An initial interest meeting in Sevier County on June 22nd resulted in a turnout of roughly 80 interested childcare professionals, juvenile court officials, law enforcement administrators, concerned business professionals and other citizens.  According to the Tennessee Children’s Advocacy Center, which provides oversight for all of Tennessee’s associated advocacy centers, it was the largest turnout for an initial interest meeting ever in Tennessee

Under one roof, a children’s advocacy center in the 4th Judicial District would provide a central hub for all aspects of serving children victimized by sexual and/or severe physical abuse or neglect.  In this one location would be:  

·    Crisis intervention and counseling, including group therapy and child-friendly interview rooms;

·    Forensic medical exams through contract with trained medical professionals;

·    A Child Protective Investigative team, as required by state law, working together to provide services to children and their families;

·    Education and training coordination, including programs for area professionals to learn about child abuse, the teaching of personal safety and awareness in area schools, and community programs given to churches and civic organizations;

·    A Court support group, helping children and their families who may have to go to court and testify; Advocacy program to support the non-offending family members so they can protect the child-victim;

·    Transportation, mostly for victims and their families who need medical services, counseling and/or group therapy. 

Investigators that have worked through a children’s advocacy center in other areas report a significant increase in their rate of convictions, directly attributed to the CAC concept, while reducing further trauma to the child-victim in the process of the investigative and prosecutorial processes.  And, when it is a child that has been victimized, it’s all about protecting the children, from offenders and the system intended to protect them.

The first steps in the process of establishing one of these much needed child advocacy centers is educating the public, acquiring the tax-exempt status as a non-profit, and securing financial and in-kind support from the community.  Please make plans to attend this important meeting on July 14th from 6:00-8:00pm.  Please RSVP with Barry Fain either by calling (865) 397-1898 or e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information on children’s advocacy centers, please visit the Tennessee Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers at www.tncac.org.

© Standard Banner - 2005

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The next meeting to discuss a planned child advocacy center will be held at 6 p.m. July 14 at the Dandridge Ruritan Park on Highway 92.

At the meeting, a group of concerned citizens in the 4th Judicial District will continue its work on establishing a child advocacy center as a place where suspected victims of child abuse can be interviewed and helped in a home-like setting.

    An initial interest meeting in Sevier County on June 22 resulted in a turnout of approximately 80 child care professionals, juvenile court officials, law enforcement administrators, business professionals and others. According to the Tennessee Children's Advocacy Center, which provides oversight for all of Tennessee's associated advocacy centers, it was the largest turnout for an initial interest meeting ever in Tennessee.

    The center would serve children in Sevier, Cocke, Grainger and Jefferson counties. In the 12 months ending June 20, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services recorded 5,334 reports of alleged child abuse, including sexual and severe physical abuse or neglect cases, in the 4th Judicial District. A breakdown indicates there were 2,088 in Sevier County, 1,561 in Jefferson County, 1,118 in Cocke County and 567 in Grainger County.

    "In many of these situations," said Barry Fain, youth services officer for the Jefferson County Juvenile Court, "the children have been victimized, are already frightened, and end up being interviewed multiple times in office settings that do nothing to make the situation any less traumatic for them to repeatedly recount horrific incidents. Ultimately, the very system intended to serve them ends up making them feel victimized, yet again."

    Under one roof, a children's advocacy center would provide a central place for serving children, including crisis intervention and counseling, with group therapy and child-friendly interview rooms; forensic medical exams through contract with trained medical professionals; an investigative team, as required by state law; education and training coordination, including programs for area professionals to learn about child abuse, the teaching of personal safety and awareness in area schools, and community programs given to churches and civic organizations; court support group, helping children and their families who may have to go to court and testify; an advocacy program to support the non-offending family members so they can protect the child-victim; and transportation, mostly for victims and their families who need medical services, counseling and/or group therapy.

    "Investigators who have worked through a children's advocacy center in other areas report a significant increase in their rate of convictions," Fain said. "And, when it is a child that has been victimized, it's all about protecting the children from offenders and the system intended to protect them."

   The first steps in the process of establishing a center is educating the public, acquiring tax-exempt status as a nonprofit, and securing financial and in-kind support from the community.

    Those who plan to attend the Dandridge meeting should RSVP to Fain, either by calling (865) 397-1898 or e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Another Sevier County meeting is planned for 6 p.m. July 26 at the courthouse.

    For more information on children's advocacy centers, visit the Tennessee Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers at www.tncac.org.

©The Mountain Press 2005

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    In the last twelve (12) months ending June 20th, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has recorded 5334 reports of alleged child abuse, including sexual and severe physical abuse or neglect cases, in the 4th Judicial District of Tennessee, the counties of Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier.  A breakdown by county of these specific referrals indicates 2,088 in Sevier County, 1,561 in Jefferson County, 1,118 in Cocke County and 567 in Grainger County.  In many of these situations, the children have been victimized, are already frightened, and end up being interviewed multiple times in office settings that do nothing to make the situation any less traumatic for them to repeatedly recount horrific incidents.  Ultimately, the very system intended to serve them ends up making them feel victimized, yet again.  But, there is hope!

    A group of concerned citizens representing the various parts of the 4th Judicial District will be holding an informational meeting on July 14th at 6:00pm at the Dandridge Ruritan Park on Hwy. 92 in Jefferson County, to continue their work of establishing a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in the 4th Judicial District, similar to those found in other judicial districts throughout the State of Tennessee.  An initial interest meeting in Sevier County on June 22nd resulted in a turnout of roughly 80 interested childcare professionals, juvenile court officials, law enforcement administrators, concerned business professionals and other citizens.  According to the Tennessee Children’s Advocacy Center, which provides oversight for all of Tennessee’s associated advocacy centers, it was the largest turnout for an initial interest meeting ever in Tennessee

    Under one roof, a children’s advocacy center in the 4th Judicial District would provide a central hub for all aspects of serving children victimized by sexual and/or severe physical abuse or neglect.  In this one location would be:  1.) Crisis intervention and counseling, including group therapy and child-friendly interview rooms; 2.) Forensic medical exams through contract with trained medical professionals; 3.) Child Protective Investigative team, as required by state law, working together to provide services to children and their families; 4.) Education and training coordination, including programs for area professionals to learn about child abuse, the teaching of personal safety and awareness in area schools, and community programs given to churches and civic organizations; 5.) Court support group, helping children and their families who may have to go to court and testify; Advocacy program to support the non-offending family members so they can protect the child-victim; 6.) Transportation, mostly for victims and their families who need medical services, counseling and/or group therapy. 

    Investigators that have worked through a children’s advocacy center in other areas report a significant increase in their rate of convictions, directly attributed to the CAC concept, while reducing further trauma to the child-victim in the process of the investigative and prosecutorial processes.  And, when it is a child that has been victimized, it’s all about protecting the children, from offenders and the system intended to protect them.

    The first steps in the process of establishing one of these much needed child advocacy centers is educating the public, acquiring the tax-exempt status as a non-profit, and securing financial and in-kind support from the community.  Please make plans to attend this important meeting on July 14th from 6:00-8:00pm.  Please RSVP with Barry Fain either by calling (865) 397-1898 or e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information on children’s advocacy centers, please visit the Tennessee Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers at www.tncac.org.

©The Five Rivers Herald 2005

AT A GLANCE

Reported alleged child abuse

Sevier County 2,088

· Jefferson County 1,561

· Cocke County 1,118

· Grainger County 567

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