CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Harrison County Child Advocacy Center held an open house on Thursday for local elected officials under its new name “Hero’s Haven Child Advocacy Center.”

A long list of elected officials were all invited to the center for a tour of the facility, as well as a nice breakfast to enjoy. Elected officials included commissioners from Taylor, Harrison, Doddridge and Barbour counties as well as:

  • Delegate Amy Summers
  • Delegate David Kelly
  • Delegate Keith Marple
  • Delegate Mickey Petitto
  • Delegate Laura Kimble
  • Delegate Clay Riley
  • Delegate Chris Phillips
  • Senator Randy Smith
  • Senator Ben Queen
  • Senator Patrick Martin
  • Senator Charles Clements
  • Senator Mike Maroney
  • Senator Bill Hamilton
  • Senator Robert Karnes
  • Senator Jay Taylor

Hero’s Haven Child Advocacy Center changed its name because it has expanded its coverage into four counties including Taylor, Harrison, Barbour, and Doddridge, and employees wanted to invite elected officials to get an understanding of what they are supporting.

“So [the legislative] session starts Monday, and they are a huge support for us and we just wanted to show our appreciation to them,” said Executive Director Patty Saunders. “Our commissioners, our prosecutors, and our judges, to provide them a breakfast and to show them what we do, and give education, so that when they do support us, they know exactly what we do.”

Hero’s Haven Child Advocacy Center is a child-friendly center for children and their protective caregivers. They work with alleged-child victims of different kinds of abuse but a few include: sexual, physical, and witness to homicide. They go to the center for a one-time interview with the protecting caregiver.

In the past, the children would have to go through several different interviews that would cause more trauma and would not help in criminal trials. With this center, they not only do just one interview, but they are provided with many resources like food, clothing, and victim impact statements. This works by either being court-ordered or a referral being made by cps or law enforcement.

The executive director feels that it is important to have this center so that children feel safe and secure, and do not have to speak of and repeat their trauma multiple times. It also helps to have advocates that can help teach the children through the court system.