Need to report suspected child abuse? Call the Child Abuse Reporting Hotline: 1 (877) 54A-BUSE

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.
 
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About Us

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.

Our Team

Polly Yarling, LCSW

Polly Yarling, LCSW

Therapist

Polly, 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.
Gena Frye, BA

Gena Frye, BA

Executive Director

Gena 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, CA

Pamela Johnson, BS, CA

Victim Service Supervisor/Family Advocate

With 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 19 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.”

Amanda White, BSW

Amanda White, BSW

Victim's Advocate and Forensic Interviewer

Amanda graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Social Work. She has also holds the certifications of ChildFirst Forensic Interviewer, Stewards of Children Facilitator, 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 the community with tools they need prevent child abuse and give a voice to children who need it most. 

Amy Whitt-Bachman, BA

Amy Whitt-Bachman, BA

Forensic Interviewer

Amy is a graduate of Carson Newman University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. Amy has been in the child protection field for 25 years. She has been employed by the CAC as a forensic interviewer for 13 years and has completed over 4,000 forensic interviews. Amy is the voice of child victims and was the 2013 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.

Valerie Waruszewski

Valerie Waruszewski

Therapist

Valerie joined our CAC team with over three decades of training and experience in a variety of areas and settings.  She earned a PhD in counseling from Liberty University, an advanced Biblical Diploma from Light University, and holds certifications in Play therapy, trauma care, and Choice Theory and Reality therapy.  She is also a nationally certified counselor and holds professional counselor licenses in Tennessee and Virginia.  Valerie enjoys spending time with her family and counts it as an honor to be granted the opportunity and privilege of joining our courageous and amazing children and their families in their journey of healing and recovery.

Nancy Strickler, LCSW

Nancy Strickler, LCSW

Therapist

 Nancy joined the CAC staff in July 2020 excited to start this adventure helping to walk children & families walk through their trauma towards healing.  Nancy graduated from ETSU with her Bachelor of Social Work in 2007 & her Master of Social Work in 2016.  Prior to her employment at the CAC, Nancy worked 8 years as a case manager & intensive in-home family specialist for children and families, followed by 5 years as a therapist for adolescents.  Nancy is always looking for opportunities to learn and grow as a therapist & is currently working on completing her trauma certification (CATP) and studying for her Registered Play Therapy (RPT) credentials.

Judy Cole

Judy Cole

Office Manager

With 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.

Harley

Harley

Facility Dog

Harley 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).

ABOUT US     RESOURCES    TRAININGS   CONTACT US    

150 Blountville Bypass
Blountville, TN 37617
Phone: 423.279.1222
Fax: 423.212.2260

©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.

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