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Questions and Interviews

Our knowledgeable and experienced staff and members can be a valuable resource for stories covering child abuse intervention, prevention, and advocacy. For questions related to these important issues or to request an interview, please contact Executive Director Greg Collins at 304-917-4437 or gregcollins@childrenslisteningplace.com. For guidelines on reporting child abuse, click here.

 

The Children’s Listening Place, Inc. Press Releases and Reports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 12, 2022

Greg Collins, Executive Director

CALHOUN COUNTY EXPANSION

At the March 4th West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) Board of Directors meeting, The Children’s Listening Place, Inc. (CLP) Child Advocacy Center’s application to provide official service to Calhoun County was unanimously approved.

This is the fifth county that is officially served by CLP, making it the largest Child Advocacy Center (CAC), in terms of number of counties served, in West Virginia.  “After providing Calhoun County with courtesy services for a few years, it became apparent that we needed to provide the full array of services we provide to the children of Calhoun County,” states Greg Collins, Executive Director of CLP.  CLP has added a staff member to its center to make this logistically possible.  “The addition is part-time and covered by a grant from Sisters of St. Joseph Health Foundation as of now.  We will apply for a grant from Encova this Spring which would cover the position for three years, and if granted, we will go full-time with it July 1.  Our federal and state grants will always pay for the position in-part,” states Collins.  “All staff members are working together to make this expansion effort a success.”

CLP began Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings in Calhoun in January of this year.  These meeting are held monthly, led by the prosecutor of that county, and include CPS, law enforcement, medical, mental health, school officials and other treatment professionals with the goal of holding offenders accountable and facilitating healing for the child.  Calhoun County Prosecutor Nigel Jeffries has been instrumental in bringing services to Calhoun County.  “He walked into my office one day last fall and said I don’t need sold on it, I’ve talked to several people in Calhoun, and I want to make this happen as soon as possible,” says Collins.  “He has truly been somebody who I believe will do it the right way for the right reasons,” says Collins of Jeffries.

is a child-friendly facility with staff that works to provide children and families professional, compassionate care in order to reduce the trauma often experienced by children that are victims of abuse. Rather than having a child taken from agency to agency to endure multiple interviews, the CAC model brings the system to the child for one effective interview and a child-centered, healing process.  “We really concentrate on not revictimizing the child by asking them to tell their story more than once.  Its traumatizing enough on them anyway.  Having to tell your story to multiple people, multiple times, is causing the child to relive the ordeal over and over,” states Collins.

With the number of forensic interviews for CLP hovering around 600 the last two years, the decision to expand service to Calhoun County wasn’t taken lightly.  “We are the busiest CAC of the 21 CACs in West Virginia, and we do much more than just interview.  It was looked at in detail, by our staff and the board of directors, and the decision was made to move forward.  Quite frankly, its because of the amazing CLP staff that made this decision for me.  If we couldn’t do quality work for Calhoun, I didn’t want to take it on.  With this staff, there’s no doubt that will happen,” states Collins.

According to WVCAN, 45 counties in West Virginia are now provided official service by a CAC, and they are providing some courtesy services to the counties without official service.  WVCAN is striving to close all the current gaps in CAC coverage, where no child in West Virginia will be more than one hour away from a child friendly WVCAN member facility, and every center will have the equal access to the support services WVCAN provides as centers work to increase their capacity to help more children and families in need.  “We are excited that our Network’s official service footprint is expanding to the 45th county, bringing us that much closer to our goal of full state coverage,” states Kate Flack, Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network. “Now, children impacted by abuse in Calhoun County will receive support from the outstanding team at the Children’s Listening Place to heal from trauma, find hope, and seek justice.”

**As a note, the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) provides statewide leadership in the fight against child abuse while working side-by-side with the 21 Child Advocacy Centers throughout the state. WVCAN provides training, technical assistance, leadership, legislative and policy advocacy, and overall coordination to Child Advocacy Centers around the state. A CAC is a child-friendly facility in which child protection, criminal justice, and child treatment professionals work together to investigate abuse, hold offenders accountable, and help children heal. Rather than having a child taken from agency to agency to endure multiple interviews, the CAC model brings the system to the child for an effective, child-centered, healing process. As the statewide authority on multidisciplinary approaches to supporting child victims of abuse, WVCAN’s purpose is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2022
Greg Collins, Executive Director

After eight (8) months, the addition of transportation for clients of The Children’s Listening Place (CLP) Child Advocacy Center is making a big impact on the center’s ability to serve the region.

A 2021 Chrysler passenger van was purchased on June 24, 2021, with the help of the Sisters of St. Joseph Health and Wellness Foundation in Wheeling and the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) in Parkersburg, to help children and their family get CLP services when they have no transportation. Since the purchase of the van, 22 families, for a total of 52 people have taken advantage of the transportation assistance, which is provided at no cost by CLP.

The CLP van has been used for transporting children and family/guardians to the center for forensic interviews, medical examinations, and advocacy. It’s also been used by staff to participate in Multidisciplinary Team meetings in each county we serve, trainings, and visits to other Child Advocacy Centers to learn how CLP can better serve our community. “Getting clients to CLP for service, no matter where they live or how much they have, is truly a good feeling. Not having transportation is not a reason for children and families not to get service for physical or sexual abuse, it’s just not,” states Greg Collins, Executive Director of The Children’s Listening Place. “The number of people provided transportation for, in all likelihood, would not have been able to get our help without the addition of the van.”

CLP financial savings on mileage reimbursement to staff has been tremendous. “The mileage our staff was incurring using their own personal vehicles was substantial. Considering we have to cover Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Pleasants and Calhoun Counties, not accounting for mandatory training, the mileage can add up quickly,” states Collins.

The van has fortunately not been needed for transport of a child for a sexual assault examination to either Clarksburg, Morgantown, or Charleston, because of the constant availability of CLP’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Amber Holbert. It is, however, available if the need ever arises. “Because CCMC does not currently provide SANE examinations, our kids would have to go to a hospital that does provide that service if our SANE was not available. This would be a one or two-hour trip one-way,” says Collins. “Many of our families don’t have the ability to make that trip on their own.”

With the number of children seen at The Children’s Listening Place rising to 600 in each of the last two years, CLP’s mission is to provide access to their full array of services to all of the children in Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Pleasants, and Calhoun Counties, so they can heal and be heard.

January 10, 2022

2021 WEST VIRGINIA CHILD ABUSE STATISTICS RELEASED

Today, the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) released its Statewide Data for the 2021 fiscal year. The data in the report reflects service from West Virginia’s 21 Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) which provided official service to 44 of 55 counties in the state. A CAC provides a safe, child-friendly facility where child protection, criminal justice, and child treatment professionals work together to investigate abuse, hold offenders accountable, and help children heal.

To ensure that every child had access to needed resources and support during this time, West Virginia’s 21 Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) remained open. During this past fiscal year, CACs served 4,604 children – a 40% increase in new children served in the last five years. Locally, The Children’s Listening Place (CLP) saw 606 children in calendar year 2021.  For comparison purposes, CLP saw 598 children in 2020 and 485 children in 2019.

Some of the highlights from The Children’s Listening Place report includes:

  • 47% of the children served were because of allegations of sexual abuse
  • 28% of the children served were six years old or younger
  • 98% of alleged offenders were someone the child knew

“We are the busiest CAC in West Virginia, serving Wood, Wirt, Pleasants and Ritchie.  Calhoun County is well into the process of being served officially by CLP,” said Greg Collins, Executive Director of CLP.  “The stories that children tell our staff would bring a lesser person to their knees.  The need for CAC services is growing rapidly throughout this country, the need for those services here is critical.  Without us, I’m certain kids would be lost in a system that is already struggling to keep up with the demand,” states Collins.  “These cases will continue to come, and The Children’s Listening Place plans to be here for the next 100 years to handle them all.  All children will be safe, families strengthened, victims healed, and offenders held accountable,” Collins concluded.

The report includes data on victim demographics, alleged offender demographics, reported vs. disclosed abuse, services performed, criminal justice response, and CAC income budget breakdown.

The Children’s Listening Place Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit that interviews and advocates for children and non-offending family members of physical and sexual abuse, and severe neglect.  We also interview kids who are witnesses to major crimes.  The Children’s Listening Place is a kid friendly and family friendly center.  It’s a child’s alternative to sitting in a police department, Child Protective Services office, or an emergency room.  We provide all the needed services, including medical, under one roof.  Law enforcement and Child Protective Services come to us, and we work together as a team, doing one interview, so the child is not revictimized by telling their story over and over.

To donate to The Children’s Listening Place Child Advocacy Center, please call the center at 304-917-4437, go to our website, or email the Executive Director at gregcollins@childrenslisteningplace.com.

West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) provides statewide leadership in the fight against child abuse while working side-by-side with the 21 Child Advocacy Centers throughout the state. WVCAN provides training, technical assistance, leadership, legislative and policy advocacy, and overall coordination to Child Advocacy Centers around the state. A CAC is a child-friendly facility in which child protection, criminal justice, and child treatment professionals work together to investigate abuse, hold offenders accountable, and help children heal. Rather than having a child taken from agency to agency to endure multiple interviews, the CAC model coordinated the response around the child for an effective, child-centered, healing process. As the statewide authority on multidisciplinary approaches to supporting child victims of abuse, WVCAN’s purpose is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

 This document was prepared under a grant from the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services, Justice & Community Services Section. Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the State of West Virginia Division of Administrative Services, Justice & Community Services Section or any entity of the Department of Justice.

 Attachment:

The attached bar graph represents the number of children served by CLP since opening in 2014.  The numbers are as follows:

2014 = 54

2015 = 183

2016 = 248

2017 = 384

2018 = 334

2019 = 485

2020 = 598

2021 = 606

For Immediate Release

December 20, 2021

“The Children’s Listening Place 1st Annual Holiday Open House was a big success, with visitors coming from all around to see where the good work for kids takes place,” states Greg Collins, Executive Director.

The Open House started at 10 a.m. with a prompt visit by Mike Browning, the Outreach Manager from Senator Joe Manchin’s office.  “What a great visit by a wonderful person.  He expressed his genuine interest in what we do here on behalf of the Senator,” stated Collins.  “It’s nice to know our center is on the radar of one of the most important people in West Virginia and Washington,” Collins continued.  Browning also sent regards on behalf of Senator Capito’s office.

Other visitors included child abuse team members from the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and Confinement Operations, Vienna Police Department, Williamstown Police Department, Harmony Mental Health, Family Crisis Intervention Center, Coplin Clinic, Wood County Child Protective Services, Wood County Youth Services, and the Pleasants County Prosecutors Office.  Some other visitors included CLP board members, local churches, and staff family.  “Seeing the Wood County Sheriff and the chiefs of Vienna and Williamstown police departments come through the door today let me know they want to be part of the solution,” Collins said.

The food was provided in part by Convicted Pigs BBQ, and owner, Trooper Chris Jackson.  “The food was a big hit with all attending,” states Collins.  “Some of it was donated by Chris for our Open House.”

The Children’s Listening Place Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit with no main source of funding that interviews and advocates for children and non-offending family members of physical and sexual abuse, and severe neglect, serving the counties of Wood, Ritchie, Wirt, Pleasants, and Calhoun.  CLP also interviews kids who are witnesses to major crimes.  The Children’s Listening Place is a kid friendly and family friendly center.  It’s a child’s alternative to sitting in a police department, Child Protective Services office, or an emergency room.  CLP provides all the needed services under one roof.  “Law enforcement and Child Protective Services come to us, and we work together as a team, doing one interview, so the child is not revictimized by telling their story over and over,” says Collins.  “This is one of the hardest things a child will ever do, to trust in someone and tell their awful story to a stranger,” states Collins.

There are 21 Child Advocacy Center’s in WV.  Last year, the centers combined, conducted 4,167 forensic interviews, therapy to 1,281 children, and 644 medical exams to children throughout the state.

For Immediate Release

October 27, 2021

 The Children’s Listening Place Receives Groups Inaugural Donation.

On October 21st, after all on-line donations were processed, The Children’s Listening Place (CLP) Child Advocacy Center received a gift of $4,325.00 from a new force of philanthropy in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

100+ Women Who Care in the MOV was founded in 2021 by Jessica Huffman, Danielle Allphin, Angie Reich, and Megan Thieman.  “We are so proud of the work The Children’s Listening Place does. They were very deserving of the donations and beyond monetary impact, we hope the event created more awareness about their organization and the heroic work they do every day,” states Jessica Huffman, founding member.

At what was the groups inaugural meeting held at the Parkersburg Country Club thanks to some local sponsors, three non-profits were selected to speak about their individual organizations.  Selected to present were Kim Couch of the Camden Clark Foundation: Pink Mammogram Fund, Greg Collins of The Children’s Listening Place Child Advocacy Center, and Brandon Gress of The Wood County Society.  At the end of the presentations, the members voted and selected The Children’s Listening Place as the benefactor of the donations.  “To speak in front of this powerful group of women who care so much about this valley was truly inspiring.  To be the first organization selected by this group was humbling.  To just be on the stage with the likes of Kim Couch and Brandon Gress was all we really needed,” stated Greg Collins, Executive Director of the CLP.  “To receive the money was fantastic, but the real reward was the recognition of what we do for kids, the networking of that evening, and the calls and emails that have come since that night of people wanting to donate to us,” stated Collins.  “To get to listen to what other non-profits do to help our community is amazing.  Non-profits are problem solvers, it’s just that simple,” concluded Collins.

100+ Women Who Care initially formed in November of 2006 by Karen Dunigan of Jackson, MI.  At their first one-hour meeting, that founding group of 100 women raised $10,000 to buy 300 new baby cribs for an organization in their city.  Chapters are now forming all over North America.  “Our organization allows busy women the opportunity to spend just one hour learning about the direct impact of three non-profit organizations in our community and the invaluable role they play in our community’s wellbeing. When our group of women meets to donate together, the collective philanthropy makes a big difference to the winning organization and the people they serve. All the money stays local, which was a really important factor to us. Our founding board members were all born and raised in this community, and we deeply care about the future success of the people in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” states Huffman.

100+ Women Who Care in the MOV hopes to grow their membership to over 100 women.  Each member agrees to donate $100 quarterly for a total of $400 per year, meaning the donation each quarter would be $10,000 or more.  100+ Women Who Care in the MOV does not handle any of the funds or does not retain a percentage.  All proceeds go directly to a charity via checks made out directly to the winning charity(s).  Each quarterly meeting is only one-hour long, with presentation of non-profits being 10 minutes max.  “As a busy professional woman in the workforce and mom of six, I have felt a yearning toward wanting to do more for our community but had trouble finding the time to volunteer or join a local non-profit board. Sending money from what I could afford alone didn’t seem like it would make a difference. I am delighted to have formed this new group and so thankful for the volunteer board that made our first event a success,” concluded Huffman.

For more information about joining 100+ Women Who Care in the MOV, please see their website at 100womenmov.com, contact Jessica Huffman at 100womenmov@gmail.com, or call her at 304-615-4506.

To donate to The Children’s Listening Place Child Advocacy Center, please call the center at 304-917-4437 or email the Executive Director at gregcollins@childrenslisteningplace.com.

Pictured left to right: Jessica Huffman, Danielle Allphin, Greg Collins, Megan Thieman, and Angie Reich.

August 10, 2021

From:  Greg Collins, Executive Director

For Immediate Release

The Children’s Listening Place (CLP) Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is getting new toys for its kids and upgrading its donation storage ability thanks to a long-time community partner and one passionate CLP board member.

Today, Dupont Washington Works donated $3,000 to CLP for the upgrades and its employees collected hundreds of dollars and enough snacks for the children and families to last for the near future.  Darliss Eichhorn, SAP Financial Analyst/Contract Administration for DuPont and CLP board member spearheaded the operation.  “I’ve visited several CAC’s, including a model CAC in Sarasota, Florida, to see how we can best operate and serve our region.  A consistent I have found is you must have a good board of directors that works and supports your center.  I think this effort by Darliss epitomizes that need,” states Greg Collins, Executive Director of CLP.

“DuPont Washington Works has active community outreach efforts to make a positive impact on our community.  Our employees are integral parts of our outreach efforts and enjoy being able to make a difference in our community,” states Darliss Eichhorn.

Eichhorn continues by stating, “DuPont Washington Works employees and the site give annually more than $200,000 through employee donations as part of our United Way Community Fund program and throughout the year to non-profit organizations in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  We have employees that serve as board members and volunteers to many organizations where they can help those groups make an impact in our community.”

Some of the items that have been ordered for CLP already thanks to the donation are a changing table, bilingual story books, diversity and kindness story books, a children’s art desk, and fidget and sensory toys for children with Autism or Asperger’s.  “Of course, we also ordered your more traditional toys for boys and girls such as cars and trucks, doctors play sets, tool sets and the center’s most popular, a kitchen play set among other items,” says Collins.

Eichhorn states, “I have a heart for the work that The Children’s Listening Place does to help children.  One of my true passions in life is helping children.  It’s such an honor to do work for an agency that helps our community!  We are proud to provide funding with this $3,000 check for The Children’s Listening Place to upgrade the toys in the center and provide donation storage capabilities.  When Washington Works employees became aware that the CLP had a need for additional help, we began a collection drive for snacks and drinks for the children and families that the CLP serves.  We have collected boxes of snacks and drinks that will be delivered to CLP for their use to serve children and their families.”

The CLP is a non-profit organization serving the children of Wood, Wirt, Pleasants, and Ritchie Counties.  CLP also does courtesy interviews for Calhoun and Gilmer Counties on a regular basis, and a host of other counties periodically.  “If there is an allegation of child abuse, child neglect, or sexual abuse, in any of these counties, they come through our doors.  Our operations are funded totally by donations and grants.  There is no money coming in on a regular basis from the city, county, or state.  That’s what makes this organization amazing to me, and that’s why partnerships and donations from our community, like this one from DuPont, are so important.  We have to continue to build these partnerships, so the center is here for the kids 50-years down the road,” states Collins.  “We led the other 21 CAC’s in West Virginia last year in forensic interviews with over 600.  The next closest center had 437 interviews.  Our work increased in 2020 22% from the totals in 2019, and we are on pace right now to exceed last year’s number.  We conduct the forensic interviews, advocacy, medical examinations, and therapy on-site in a child friendly setting.  During my law enforcement career, I’ve spoken to many adults who are still suffering from the effects of the evil that was done to them as a child.  CLP does everything it can, for as long as needed, to give that child a chance at a normal, productive life,” Collins concludes.