The team at Cherished Hearts is working hard to establish a child advocacy center in Jones County and we would love to invite you and your organization to join our efforts. Children’s advocacy centers were established to help children going through traumatic life events and guide their families through the legal process and connect them with community resources. Prior to the advent of these organizations, if a child reported abuse, they would be required to repeat the story to representatives from multiple agencies including health care professionals, social workers, and law enforcement officers. CACs began as a way to limit the trauma and hardship that this caused by serving as a place where the child could recount her story once and then the story could be reported to the necessary agencies. CACs across the nation now also provide services for family members to help them navigate the legal system when their child is involved in such a case as well as provide resources to deal with the psychological trauma that results from these situations. Currently, the children in Jones County do not have access to this resource and those who need these services are referred to Gulfport for assistance. Cherished Hearts, Inc. would like to change that. In opening a children’s advocacy center in Jones County, they will be able to provide this vital service to families in Jones and the surrounding counties. Please join us on Wednesday, September 14 at 8:00 a.m. at the Y in downtown Laurel to learn more about the Cherished Hearts mission and how you can get involved.