Our Mission...The mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Sullivan County is to combat child abuse and minimize trauma by providing and coordinating supportive services to children and their families in a caring environment.
The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Sullivan County is a non-profit organization that was built by our community to serve child victims of maltreatment. Our community recognized the need to enhance the system’s ability to respond to allegations of abuse while at the same time, making sure young victims receive the help they need to reduce the effects of trauma created by abuse.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Sullivan County was the first center of its type to open in Tennessee. We serve as a hub for investigations of child abuse and provide a child-friendly environment for the children involved. We offer trauma focused therapy for children, support for their non-offending caregivers, and increased public awareness through prevention programs and community education.
Funding is provided through grants, local government, and generous donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. All services to child victims and their non-offending caregivers are provided at no cost. All donations to the Children’s Advocacy Center are tax deductible due to our 501(c)(3) status.
Jan Brownlee, LMFT
Family TherapistJan is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has re-joined the CAC part-time to provide therapy for families and adult caregivers. Jan has masters’ degrees in both education and counseling. She previously worked as a mental health specialist for the ETSU Center of Excellence. Prior to that she worked at the CAC as a full-time therapist.
Office ManagerWith over 40 years of office administrative experience, including 30 years at Bristol Regional Medical Center, Judy brought her management expertise to the CAC in April of 2015. Starting out as our part time receptionist, Judy’s input became instrumental to the running and the core of the CAC and she became our office manager in May of 2017. Judy and her husband Fred were/are longtime supporters of the CAC and it was only fitting that Judy join the CAC staff to make the center run more efficiently.
Gena Frye, BA
Executive DirectorGena came to the CAC in June of 2009 as the new fearless leader. Prior to leading the CAC, she was the Administrator of Elections for Sullivan County where she served for 13 years. Not only is Gena the Executive Director for the Center, she is also the proud Momma to our facilities dog Harley.
Pamela Johnson, BS
Family AdvocateWith a degree from ETSU in Political Science and Criminal Justice, Pamela puts her knowledge to work while assisting our victims and their families. She has multiple years experience in domestic/family violence and the criminal justice system and has been with the CAC for the past 15 years. She is extremely passionate about working with families experiencing the trauma of child abuse. According to Pamela, “It is a privilege and honor to provide services to families in need.”
Laura Martorano, MA, LPC/MHSP, RPT
Laura graduated with her master’s in counseling from ETSU and is currently working to become a registered play therapist. She is passionate about working with kids and believes kids have the natural ability to heal when given the right tools and allowed a voice. Laura believes abuse and trauma are just one sentence in a person’s story, and not what defines a person. She instead, chooses to focus on fostering resiliency in children through play therapy and firmly believes she has the best job in the world!
Julie Price, MA, LPC/MHSP-S, RPT-S
Clinical DirectorJulie has been a therapist since 1999 and the Clinical Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Sullivan County since 2005. Through the years, in addition to traditional trauma focused treatment, Julie has developed specialties in the areas of Child Centered Play Therapy and Sandplay Therapy. Julie states, “Although children and their families arrive at our Center in the midst of experiencing the devastation of abuse and/or trauma, I have been granted a wonderful opportunity. It is my delight to watch, through the counseling process, children emerge from under the dark weight of trauma to discover that they are much more than victims. I love helping them to rediscover their spark, their strength, and uniqueness.”
Aubrey Southerland, MA, NCC
Family Trauma and Group Therapist
Aubrey is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Counseling Master’s Program and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Tennessee. She was previously a clinical intern at the Children’s Advocacy Center and is grateful to continue her time here. Her work derives from theories that encourage and consider connection, multiculturalism, acceptance, empowerment, family dynamics, social construction, and solution. She believes that the therapist is a trestle for the client to grow on and be supported by because all people have what they need within them to flourish already. She also facilitates group therapy for the Center and finds passion in the power and support that groups provide. Aubrey was raised in a place similar to Blountville and is humbled to serve and meet the community in this capacity.
Elise Valencia, BS
Prevention Education Program Coordinator
Elise has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from ETSU and an Associate’s in Spanish. She is an Advanced Facilitator of Darkness to Light programs, and facilitator for MBF Safety Matters and Nurturing Parenting Programs. Elise says her job is to keep kids from ever needing to see any of her friends at the CAC. Elise educates on the impact of child abuse and adverse childhood experiences in hopes that less children will ever experience it. She is passionate about helping kids and feels the biggest way to do that is by empowering the adults in their lives to be bold and strategic about protecting their children. Elise and her husband have seen the impact of trauma in their own home through caring for their foster children. They have 3 wonderful, energetic sons and are committed to helping underserved children locally and in her husband’s hometown in rural El Salvador.
ReceptionistThe smiling face of Donna is the first thing that most of our families see once they enter the CAC. With most families having experienced a traumatic situation, Donna’s warm smile welcomes our families and grants them peace and comfort as they embark on a strenuous journey they may otherwise be very fearful of. Upon many other hobbies, Donna is extremely active in her church where she assists in leading multiple charity projects throughout each month.
Amanda White, BSW, CA
Victim's Advocate and Forensic Interviewer
Amanda graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Social Work. She has also completed many trainings and holds the certifications of ChildFirst Forensic Interviewer, National Credentialed Advocate, and Nurturing Parenting Facilitator. Amanda holds the NASW Code of Ethics and six core values of social work as important lenses to view her work at the CAC through. Growing up in East Tennessee, she is passionate about the people in her area and dedicated to serving them through the CAC and beyond. Amanda hopes to equip families with tools they need foster success and give a voice to children who need it most. Outside of work, Amanda loves to sing and spend time with friends and family.
Amy Whitt-Bachman, BA
Forensic InterviewerAfter 14 years in child welfare, Amy came to the CAC in 2007 as the Forensic Interviewer. With several hundred hours of training in regards to interviewing children, Amy is the voice of many children who feel as if their abuse story cannot be told. In 2013 Amy was the recipient of “The Voice for Victims” award which was presented by the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole in recognition of her dedication to working with child victims.
Polly Yarling, LCSW
TherapistPolly, also known as “Miss Polly,” joined the CAC staff in February of 2013. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Tennessee and was graduated from the University of Tennessee with her Master of Science in Social Work in 2003. Prior to her employment with the CAC, she worked as a psychotherapist in several community mental health agencies as well as enjoyed four years in private practice. Miss Polly finds true joy and purpose in helping children and adolescents to move through their traumas and considers it an honor to work at the CAC.
Facility DogHarley is 10 years old and came to the CAC by way of a board member. When Harley’s owner went off to college she was left needing a purpose and what better way to serve than to make children who have experience traumatic situations feel more comfortable. Harley can be found sleeping, eating, sleeping, and sleeping at the center on any day of the week. Harley resides with Gena, Gena’s husband Paul, and Harley’s sister Bella (a white Westie).
150 Blountville Bypass
Blountville, TN 37617
©2010-2018 Children's Advocacy Center of Sullivan County. All Rights Reserved.Funding is provided through grants, local government, and generous donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. All services to child victims and their non-offending caregivers are provided at no cost. All donations to the Children's Advocacy Center are tax deductible due to our 501(c)(3) status.