New facility to help advocates manage surge in child abuse cases
Tulsa's Child Abuse Network says their new $10 million facility will help to manage a surge in child abuse cases.
Director of Development Kayla McNamara said CAN is seeing around 200 cases per month. The organization's original facility, which was built in 1992, was designed to handle half of that. McNamara said the influx in child abuse cases can largely be attributed to effects from the pandemic.
"In terms of the pandemic related to cases at CAN, we did see an uptick -- and really the cases were just worse than before," McNamara said.
McNamara also said the Supreme Court's ruling on McGirt v. Oklahoma has been bringing in more federal cases.
Extensive renovations include new forensic interview rooms, offices where multiple professionals can meet with victims, therapy rooms, as well as areas where families can wait for counsel in private.
"We'll have private waiting areas for each family whereas now when families enter the center they're all in one waiting room," McNamara explained.
Officials said they hope to break ground on the new facility in October but plan to be moved in by next year. The new building will also feature spaces for local organizations and community members to learn how to recognize, report, and prevent child abuse.
If you suspect a child is a victim of abuse, you can call the Oklahoma Abuse Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.