(L-R) Cherokee Nation Child Welfare Specialist and William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center Board Secretary Tami Jennings, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Cherokee Nation Child Welfare Specialist Laci Rinehart, Tribal Councilor Keith Austin, advocacy center board member Karen Ogle, advocacy center family advocate Kelly Oxford, advocacy center board member Lou Flanagan, Executive Director Holly Webb and Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor.
, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation donated $12,000 to the William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center to help change the lives of child abuse victims in Rogers, Mayes and Craig counties.
The nonprofit group is a community-based effort working to reduce the trauma of child abuse. In 2016, the William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center provided services to 357 children and 246 families through forensic interviews, medical evaluations, mental health treatments, crisis intervention, or a combination of those and other services.
“Roughly 38 to 39 percent of the children we see are citizens of the Cherokee Nation or another Native American tribe,” Executive Director Holly Webb said. “Our organization coordinates a professional, multidisciplinary team approach that provides assessment, treatment and education in a safe, child-friendly environment. We are so grateful for the Cherokee Nation and its commitment to our organization.”
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. joined Tribal Councilors Janees Taylor and Keith Austin for a tour of the advocacy center in Claremore Thursday afternoon.
“This is a group I have long supported as they strive to make a difference in the lives of children. The William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center deals with cases of child abuse, and their team approach is centered on the child and a response that is tailored to his or her needs,” Councilor Taylor said. “They do everything they can to make these situations less traumatic for the children they encounter, and I join Councilor Austin and the Cherokee Nation in support of this organization’s important mission.”
This year, the Cherokee Nation’s donation to the nonprofit organization increased from $10,000 to $12,000.
“The William W. Barnes Child Advocacy Center makes a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children around---children who have been the victims of child abuse,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This center has a big footprint in the Cherokee Nation and certainly serves our communities by offering children the help, hope and healing they need. We want to continue our partnerships with organizations that do great things for our communities, and this is just one way we can offer our support.”
The nonprofit opened in 2001 and is named in honor of Dr. William W. Barnes, who has served as a Rogers County pediatrician since 1974. The center uses child-protective services, law enforcement officers, physicians, therapists, attorneys and child advocates through its cooperative approach to improve the recovery process for children.
Across the country, approximately 700,000 children are abused annually, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In recent years, Native Americans have reported the second-highest child abuse rate in the nation.
For more information on the William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center in Claremore, call 918-283-2800 or visit the organization’s website at www.cacclaremore.org
Cherokee Nation News Release
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