CLEARFIELD, Pa. (WTAJ)– The Clearfield County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) expanded into a new location to better serve the county’s increasing number of child abuse reports.

The center is designed to feel like home, so kids and families can be comfortable through a difficult time.

“What we do here at the Child Advocacy Center is bring the child to the center and we bring the team to the child,” CAC director Mary Tatum said. “The child is interviewed one time by a forensic interviewer.”

According to the CAC, In 2017, there were 373 reports of child abuse in Clearfield County. The center helped 218 victims in 2018.

The new space will be used to fit the growing need for child abuse services in the county.

It has two waiting rooms, a forensic interview room, a kitchen and a medical examination room.

“the table and the colposcope and the lighting that we have provides a much nicer place to examine these children,” sexual assault forensic examiner John Bacher said. “This room out here, the waiting room, is a much nicer place for families to sit.”

For law enforcement, having these services in one place makes it easier to gather the evidence they need.

“They are able to speak to these kids and limit the impact, the negative impact that these crimes have on these children, and as a result, we are able to solve a lot more of the crimes,” Clearfield Borough assistant police chief Nathan Curry said.

CenClear provided the new building and funding to the child advocacy center.

To find out more about the Child Advocacy Center, click here.

If you suspect child abuse, call Childline at 1-800-932-0313.