Expanded Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center provides more space for investigations, healing

By Claire Shoop |

The below is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Community Impact from November 2023.  View the full article HERE

 

The various colored doors of the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center welcome in different sectors of the community.

Having separate entrances is a best practice for children’s advocacy centers—nonprofit organizations that connect children who have experienced abuse or trauma to services—and it was one of many new features added during the 15,000-square-foot expansion completed in mid-October.

“[The expanded WCCAC] is this beacon of hope for the families to come to,” CEO Kerrie Stannell said. “I think this is going to, down the road, help so many children and families.”

Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center staff began seeing clients in their expanded and renovated facility in mid-October.

The WCCAC, which serves as a centralized hub for agencies responding to child abuse and neglect cases, has been located at 1811 SE Inner Loop, Georgetown, since 2007.

WCCAC Chief Advancement Officer Tiffany Sturman said the original building was designed for eight to 10 staff members plus clients and families. However, the center staff has grown to about 30 in the last 15 years.

The renovation process also allowed the staff the opportunity to aesthetically improve the center, adding tree motifs, soothing colors and natural light throughout the building.

“When you think about the reason that kids and their family members are coming here, … our model as a children’s advocacy center is designed to be warm and welcoming to make sure people feel physically and psychologically safe when they step through our doors,” Sturman said.

The expansion was funded through a $15.5 million comprehensive capital campaign.

“We have something better than $115 billion worth of buildings in Williamson County in appraised value, and the most important building in Williamson County is the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

“For us, the advocacy center is a great resource—almost a one-stop shop for us in regards to helping with investigations of crimes against children,” Round Rock Police chief Allen Banks said.

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