Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center planning open house
Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center in Anna is planning to celebrate its 15th anniversary with an open house that will have several activities for children and adults.
The open house event is planned on Friday, Aug. 12, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The public will have a rare opportunity to tour the facility, as well as learn more about the work Two Rivers is doing for abused children in Southern Illinois.
When walking through the facility, those who attend will not hear sad stories of child abuse, but rather what Two Rivers is doing to make the experience as positive as possible.
The waiting room is full of stuffed animals and toys for children to play with before their forensic interview.
The interview room is bright and has two cameras. The session is recorded and may be used for future court cases.
There is also a medical wing where specially trained practitioners conduct forensic medical exams in a child-friendly exam room. Two Rivers hosts the Children’s Medical and Mental Health Resource Network in their medical wing.
When participants have completed their tour of the facility, they will receive a ticket that will be submitted in a raffle. Outside, there will be several free public activities including a performance from the Eli Tellor Band, a bouncy house, face painting, balloon animals created by Kristen Meyer and more.
There will also be tastings from local restaurants, including Jordo’s Pizzeria, Kiki’s Coffeehouse, Anna Baking Company, Boar’s Head, Dairy Queen, Trails End and Abbey Ridge Brewery and Tap Room.
Dairy Queen meals for kids will be free, but tastings to other restaurants require a donation. Raffle tickets will also be given out for the tasting donation.
There will also be two mini sessions of the Green Bear Prevention Program. The program teaches students pre-kindergarten through 5th grade age appropriate sexual abuse prevention. Those are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
The event’s sponsors are Bigler Law, Capaha Bank, Country Financial, Cunningham Electronic Corporation and Michael Bigler Farmers agent.
Two Rivers opened in August of 2001.
It provides services for abused children. Its goal is to provide a safe, child friendly environment for children to talk about what happened.
Executive director Kendra Eads said this is the first time the facility’s doors have been opened to the public.
“We want people to know that there are people who are making sure this process is going as positively as possible,” she said.
They partner with agencies such as the sheriff’s office, local police, the state’s attorney’s office, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Children’s Medical and Mental Health Resource Network, counseling services and sometimes schools to reduce trauma to child victims during the investigation and prosecution of the crime allegedly committed against the child.
Eads said they coordinate investigations and share information between agencies so that no kids fall through the cracks.
When these agencies team up with Two Rivers, they attempt to reduce the number of interviews a child will participate in.
An advocate is assigned to each child and family to act on behalf of the child’s best interests and help connect the child and non-offending family with other community services such as counseling, medical care and/or financial assistance.
They also provide transportation and gas cards.
Two Rivers provides all of its services to Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties.
The public from all seven counties is invited to attend the open house.
For more information, visit www.tworiverscac.org.