NEA Children's Advocacy Center is almost ready for the grand opening

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) -- Work on the Northeast Arkansas Children's Advocacy Center is well on the way to completion. "There is a critical need for this," said Sue McDaniel.

Sue McDaniel is the board president for the center.  She says one of the main goals is to help reduce further trauma an abused child has to endure during questioning about abuse, she says by eliminating the multiple interviews by different agencies.  At the center, one trained forensics interviewer will interview the child.

"During the interview, if the other agencies want to be included, they are there. They will have a headset. The child won't be aware that they are there. They can even suggest questions for the interviewer to ask," said McDaniel.

McDaniel says only authorized agencies will have access to the interviews. The center will serve surrounding counties, with a goal McDaniel says, of having every child within one hour of one of the 12 centers in Arkansas.

Craighead County Sheriff, Jack McCann, says not only will this center benefit children, it will also help investigating agencies.

"A lot of different law enforcement agencies don't have people trained in the field of interviewing children, and I have seen that myself. People from different agencies trying to interview them, they get bombarded with questions. It just traumatizes them that much more," said McCann.

Both Jack McCann and Sue McDaniel say they are looking forward to working with all involved agencies--with a goal of starting the healing process for a child as soon as possible.

"We'll all be working together, kind of like a quilt of all the different agencies to wrap around the child to offer hope and healing," said McDaniel.