BERLIN, Md. - Community members in Worcester County gathered today to show support for one child advocacy center.
The Cricket Center in Berlin held an open house to celebrate some recent achievements.
The center just hit a couple of milestones. Since opening up their doors in 2009, they have hit 1,000 years of prosecuted jail time for offenders in Worcester county.
Beyond that, they have just been accredited by the national children's alliance for the next four years.
The National Children's Alliance is the national association for children's advocacy centers.
The accreditation process is thorough. It examines all of their policies and procedures. They make sure they provide the best child safe doctrine to all of their practices.
The Cricket Center is actually the only child advocacy center on the lower shore to be accredited and one of two on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Cricket's Executive Director, Wendy Myers, tells 47 ABC this accreditation is important in order to know how well they are doing.
From there, they can see how to improve.
This open house was a way to not only highlight their newest milestones but also thank the community for their support.
47 ABC dove a bit deeper into how important The Cricket Center really is for the community. They investigate and prosecute all cases of child abuse in Worcester County.
Since opening its doors in 2009, their investigating process is making a difference. Before, children had to go through multiple interviews, which traumatize them again and again.
But now, they only have to do one recorded interview.
They have an entire team of different agencies in house, such as prosecutors and therapists.
Myers tells us, "What happens is when a child needs help for abuse they would come here with a non-offending family member. The child would be interviewed right here in this room by a special forensic interviewer. Our prosecutors from the state's attorney's office are able to view the forensic interview live time to determine what happened and what we need to do next."
Their questioning room just got a new drawing board, which helps children express themselves in the story telling process.
Another feature to make the place a little less scary, hand prints are placed throughout the center.
Each hand print providing some hope to each child walking through.
Beyond their newest drawing board, the cricket center also received new medical devices and we're told this new equipment is much less invasive for children.
They hope to continue to have the most up-to-date training for their staff.
The Cricket Center says having an open house like the one they did today is important.
The more they talk about child abuse, the more light they'll shed on this topic.
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