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ASK THE EXPERTS

‘Hope and Healing’ for children

POSTED: May 26, 2010 4:00 a.m.

They don’t have offices in Dawsonville, but Children’s Center for Hope and Healing has helped dozens of children and families locally.

  

Rebecca Davis, executive director, said the organization specializes in treating families whose lives have been affected by sexual abuse.

  

“The service we’re best known for,” Davis said, “is providing free counseling for children. So, if a child has had this unfortunate experience, and about 20 percent of children have, they can come to us at absolutely no cost to their parents.”

  

Davis said the Gainesville-based non-profit organization provides therapeutic services by licensed professional counselors “for as long as they’re needed.”

  

Other volunteers with the organization help in other ways.

  

“We have dozens and dozens of volunteers,” she said. “They do all kinds of different things ...  most people who want to help truly care about kids deeply, and they want to do something to make a difference in the lives of the kids.”

  

Formerly called the Family Relations Program, the Children’s Center has served 13 north Georgia counties for 26 years.

  

According to its Web site, the center is “dedicated to stopping the cycle of child sexual abuse and to preventing exploitation of children ... by providing counseling, education and advocacy for those whose lives have been affected by sexual abuse.”

  

The Children’s Center is divided into four programs: Victims’ Services, Project Pathfinder, Women’s Services and Prevention Services.

  

Offices are located in Cumming and Gainesville.

  

“People are welcome to go to whichever one is most convenient,” Davis said.

  

Added Davis: “Sometimes, because we’re not located in the county, people don’t understand that we’re here for the county. There’s no reason for people not to call us. We’re happy to serve.”

For more information, call (770) 532-6530 or visit www.hopeandhealingga.org.

 

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