Kid’s Place: A Child Advocacy Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency that serves child victims of severe physical and sexual abuse and their non-offending family members in the 22nd Judicial District. The 22nd Judicial District includes counties, Wayne, Giles, Lawrence and Maury of Tennessee.
Kid’s Place administers services such as investigative interviews, forensic medical exams, evidence-based trauma therapy, family advocacy services, court preparation and prevention, and community awareness programs. Kid’s Place works closely with the Department of Children’s Services, the District Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement agencies, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security. All of these services are free of charge to the victims. On average, the center serves over 300 children annually.
The Kid’s Place headquarters is located in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. They also have satellite clinics in Giles, Maury, and Wayne counties that allow families served by Kid’s Place to have a more comfortable and convenient experience. Wayne County’s satellite clinic is the most recent addition.
Jessica White, a counselor at the Wayne County Kid’s Place location, is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional with training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and contemplative practices such as Trauma Yoga. White began her professional journey with Kid’s Place as a clinical intern through Argosy University in January 2017. She was originally nervous to work with children who had been abused because she was unsure that she could handle the position emotionally. She said, “Soon, I discovered that each and every child I came in contact with was such an inspiration. I watched children and their caregivers walk through the Kid’s Place doors at such a vulnerable time in their lives and grow, heal and thrive. These children are true heroes! I quickly knew this is right where I need to be.”
In January 2018, White was offered a position as a full-time counselor at Kid’s Place. She said, “I accepted it with open arms. I never thought I would work with children, but I am very glad that I am! There is no greater joy than seeing the faces of these children who come into our center! All of our roles are extremely important in this process. Not only do I love to watch the children succeed, but I also enjoy witnessing the interactions that my coworkers have with our children and their caregivers. This job is no easy task, but watching them give so much passion and love into their role here is nothing short of amazing! Each and every one of them holds a special piece of the puzzle to Mending Broken Hearts. We want to give children the future that they deserve, a place to overcome the struggles that they have been through as well as an opportunity to not feel alone in what they have gone through. Kid’s Place strives to help change the trajectory of victims’ family systems, to watch them flourish into being all that they can be. Our goal is to provide hope, help, and healing to the future generations of abuse victims. I want to thank the community for all of the support given to Kid’s Place.”
Bailey Burcham, another employee at the Wayne County location, started her time at Kid’s Place as a Master’s Level Social Work Intern in 2020. She had heard about the organization through a fundraiser a few years prior. The fundraiser was through the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, which was organized by BJ Eaton. They sold T-shirts to raise money to donate to the center. Burcham said, “The first day I walked into the door I knew this place was part of a greater plan. The people that worked there were so welcoming and kind. I was later offered a job as a family advocate in December of that year, where I was able to work with children and their non-offending caregivers providing support and helping through needs assessments. In May 2021, I accepted a position as a therapist at the center and began my journey working directly with children providing evidence-based therapy services. I know everyone says they work at the best place with the best people but I truly mean it! They are not just my co-workers, and we are not just a team. We are a family. They go above and beyond to help the families we serve as well as support fellow employees throughout the process. The one thing I hear all the time when telling people about my job is, ‘How do you do it? That sounds so hard.’ I tell everyone that says this, ‘I’m the lucky one. I get to work with these children and families and provide them support and love. I get to directly watch them grow, be brave, and strong. They encourage me to be better.’ One other thing that makes Kid’s Place the best place ever is the community support. We serve several communities, so I have been able to witness many groups and individuals show up to help when needed, donate funds, bring toys, and/or provide food and hygiene items. I now get to see this in my home community, and it is truly the most heartwarming thing. It makes me proud to be from a small town where there are people always willing to help when needed. I love my job, and I love this community. I am so proud to be part of both.”
Kid’s Place relies on generosity. The organization appreciates contributions of food, hygiene products, toys, supplies and monetary donations. If you would like to support Kid’s Place, this can be done using the PayPal link on their website (www.kpcac.org), AmazonSmile, Kroger Cares (organization number UF913), or by texting ‘KPCAC’ to 44-321.
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