In 1996 after volunteers saw a need for child advocacy for abused children in Southern Illinois many efforts were being made to begin a center in Carmi, IL. After two solid years of training and grant seeking The Guardian Center developed a location and in February of 1999 they began interviewing children and providing advocacy services in May. In 2000 they expanded services to Edwards and Wabash Counties. In 2003 they began serving families experiencing physical abuse in our area. Since, The Guardian Center has been able to open various satellites in Southern Illinois including the Mt. Carmel branch in 2015. This location is making it easier for children, families and team agencies to participate in forensic interviews and receive advocacy services in the Wabash Area.
The mission statement of the center is as follows: “The Guardian Center is committed to the protection and healing of abused children and their families.”
The Guardian Center provides services to any child under the age of 18 who resides or was abused within their service area and has reported sexual or severe physical abuse to law enforcement or DCFS. All services are free of charge, confidential, and voluntary. The Guardian Center depends on our communities’ financial support to continue its programs for abused children and their families.
The center provides child-sensitive interviewing sites in their offices that are created to be comfortable for children. Each child is assigned an advocate who is the primary means for providing supportive services to children and families. They are continually working with other professionals in our community to keep these children from “falling through the cracks.” In the past year the center has helped 193 children, 37 of them from Wabash County.
The advocate also provides:
- Referrals to counseling & other services
- Transportation to appointments
- Keeping the families updated on proceedings
- Preparing children & families for court proceedings
- Support throughout entire process until no longer needed
The Guardian Center also provides community education in our area. This includes training for professionals, organizations and concerned communities as well as sexual abuse prevention programs for pre-school and school age children.
We encourage you to be supportive of this valiant effort in helping our local children. Also we remind you to “Be the one with courage! Report suspected child abuse you may be the only one in a position to help that Child!”
Categories: Not for Profit