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. DONATE
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.
Polly Yarling, LCSW
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 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
(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.”
Nancy Strickler, LCSW
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.
Valerie Waruszewski, PhD, LPC-MHSP
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.
Amy G Whitt, BA
(Senior Forensic Interviewer)
Amy is a graduate of Carson Newman University with a B.A double major in Psychology and Sociology. Amy has been in the child protection field for over 25 years. She has been employed by the CAC as a forensic interviewer for 15 years and has completed over 4,500 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.
Austin Pierce, LPC
Austin Pierce joined the CAC in October 2021 with a Master of Arts in counseling from East Tennessee State University. Austin has a passion for helping others achieve the goals they set for themselves, helping others work through trauma, and to reduce the stigma of mental health in Appalachia. Prior to working for the CAC Austin spent 3 years working as an intensive in-home therapist while also holding a caseload of outpatient clients. He is always open and excited to learn new ways to approach issues.
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.