The Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center (WKCAC) has received a $60,000 grant to remodel an existing building and open a new facility in Hays.
The Advocacy Center works with children who have experienced the trauma of child abuse and their families. The Center provides support and services, and also education to help prevent the occurrence of abuse for other children.
The Western Kansas Advocacy Center serves 32 counties and reports a significant increase in the request for services, particularly in the north central part of the state. According to the agency, the increase in demand could be due to increased abuse, increased reporting or an increase in the awareness of services available to these families.
Currently the WKCAC operates out of permanent offices in Scott City, Colby and Sublette, and utilizes mobile Child Advocacy Centers to serve the area. The increase in the need for services coupled with the distance the agency covers in northwest Kansas has created a need for an additional permanent center to be located in Hays.
The new facility will provide forensic interviews, advocacy and mental health services. The location in Hays will also allow WKCAC to work with graduate students studying Social Work and Professional Counseling at Fort Hays State University.
The new facility will be located in downtown Hays. Funds from the Hansen Foundation will provide remodeling of an existing facility to include a child/family waiting room, an interview room, interview observation room, conference room, offices, and therapy suites. The grant will cover the cost of labor, demolition, construction materials, electrical and HVAC.