The Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County (CACCC) will use $136,626 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to expand its family counseling and investigator-training programs.
Funding for the Counseling and Training Expansion Center project was approved by New Braunfels City Council in February. CACCC will pursue funding for the balance of the $341,565 project from other sources. A construction timeline will be provided once funding is secured.
The additional building space will allow CACCC to provide training and support to alleviate burnout and secondary traumatic stress suffered by law enforcement, child-protection service workers, and forensic interviewers who work with abused children.
“They have faster burnout,” said Stacy Dufur, CACCC director of programs. “They have issues with mental health, physical health and relationships – just about anything that someone with first-hand trauma would be dealing with. Part of the reason we want to have the building constructed is to address some of those things in our community and keep the helpers we have.”
Plans call for constructing a metal building adjacent to the existing facility in the Gruene district of New Braunfels. The concept includes an open plan on the first floor, seating for 300 people, restrooms, and an audio/visual system for training.
The building will serve a dual purpose, fulfilling the agency’s primary mission by providing for an expansion of essential services and by offering counseling to families experiencing trauma.
Executive Director Trendy Sharp said the space also would be used to host groups for specific populations of children who need to practice skills learned in therapy.
CACCC provided 1,235 hours of direct-service counseling services in fiscal year 2022.
Its multidisciplinary team reviewed 2,177 cases of potential child abuse through statewide intakes.
CACCC tries to minimize the number of interviews a child experiences during investigations of child abuse. Investigators observe interviews by a professional, objective forensic interviewer by a camera. Interviews are recorded for possible use in court.
The group uses a multidisciplinary approach to prevent, detect, investigate and treat child abuse.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.comalcac.org. Donors can designate funds go toward the building project.