OKC's CARE Center extends helping hand to abused children 

Oklahoma City's CARE " or Child Abuse Response and Evaluation " Center helps children who have faced physical, sexual and mental abuse.
 
Open since 1993, the CARE Center offers children and their families a less intimidating, warmer atmosphere where forensic interviews to determine whether abuse occurred can be done at once.
 
COURTROOM PREP
If a child has to go to court to testify, the center offers Court School. Katy Davis, associate executive director and volunteer coordinator, said she believes that after children understand the rules of the courtroom, they begin to feel like they have taken a part in protecting themselves.
 
"It's empowering for children," Davis said. "Rather than something that sounds pretty fearful for them, it can be a good feeling to know they were part of the process."
 
VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT
In order for the center to continue operating, however, it must rely upon its staff members and volunteers.
 
Davis said volunteers generally leave their shifts with a sense of the power of individual giving.
 
"Volunteers overall feel stronger and have a good sense of feeling of how important it is to be a person from the community (who) can say, 'I didn't have to be here today, but I wanted to be to help you and your family with this process. I'm just one person, but that person can make a difference,'" Davis said.
 
Those interested in volunteering can download a volunteer sheet from www.carecenter-okc.org. For more information, call 236-2100. "Krista Nightengale
 

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