Child victims of crime in Calaveras County have a new place to heal. The Calaveras Children’s Counseling and Advocacy Center has moved to 1934 Highway 26, Valley Springs, and is open for business.

Previously in San Andreas, the center offers free counseling, advocacy and support for child victims of crime and their families.

The new location, the result of collaboration between the Mark Twain Health Care District and the Resource Connection, offers more space for children and staff to move around. The 2,275-square-foot newly remodeled ranch home is a step up from the dark, cramped quarters previously occupied by the center. The new location offers outdoor spaces for movement and relaxation, larger counseling rooms and an amazing view.

“This location just lends itself to healing.” says Kelli Coane, director of the center. “It is much quieter and the facilities are newer, and since it is a house, it feels like home. We hope that the children we serve will feel comfortable here.”

The space is more than double the size of the previous office and the additional room has made it possible to expand services to include a forensic interview room for children.

The Resource Connection, in partnership with the Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office, will be working on setting up the technology to allow the center to become the primary location for child forensic interviews.

“Since it is very important that both children and their families are comfortable and safe during these fact-finding interviews, this space seemed like a natural,” said Coane.

The addition of the interview room will allow the center to be considered a Child Advocacy Center and afford the Resource Connection additional funding opportunities for this program.

The Mark Twain Health Care District owns the building and surrounding property and has supported the project.

“This is one of the most exciting partnerships our health care district has been part of in years,” said district Executive Director Dr. Randall Smart. “The opportunity to help our children and provide them with better lives has no comparison. We are so lucky to have the Resource Connection and Child Advocacy Center in our county.”

The center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The center, however, is available on an appointment-only basis and does not accept walk ins. Appointments can be made by calling 584-9092.

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