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Phantom Fund Raiser

ribbonApril is Child Abuse Prevention Month, but every day is our call to action and an opportunity for us to recognize that we all play a role in children’s lives and well being.

You can help make this WISH come TRUE by NOT attending our Phantom Party.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be invited to a fundraiser that’s so user friendly that it doesn’t even exist? Sound too good to be true? Well, then, consider yourself uninvited!

Wish Upon a World With NO Chilld AbuseWe call it a Phantom Fundraiser. It’s our way of asking you to help support the Edmondson Telford Child Advocacy Center. So please don’t attend because it really won’t be happening. Instead, skip the hassle, and help make a child’s fears disappear into thin air.

Even better, skip the stamp!
Donate NOW at etcac.org
OR
Download Our Donation Form

The Edmondson Telford Child Advocacy Center provides services to Hall and Dawson County residents under the age of 18 who are victims of sexual or physical abuse or neglect, as well as their non-offending caregivers. We offer a child friendly environment for crisis intervention and medical advocacy as the victim moves through the examination and investigation process.

The Center has served over 12,000 children and families since the beginning in 1997. Edmondson Telford has conducted over 10,000 forensic examinations of abused children and coordinated hundreds of child abuse investigations with law enforcement and social services agencies. All services are provided free-of-charge through generous donations to our agency.

Proudly sponsored by Matthews Printing Company.

Hall County Reaches “Tipping Point” in Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

Wednesday September 11, 2019

Gainesville, GA – Hall County has reached a significant milestone in the protection of its community’s children: more than 5% of the adult population has been trained to prevent, identify and respond to child sexual abuse through Stewards of Children® training, which means Hall County has now reached the “tipping point.” The tipping point theory, based on Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, suggests that once 5% of a population has a change in behavior, the momentum for change becomes unstoppable.

Hall County reached the tipping point thanks to the Hall County School System’s training of all certified staff. The system has trained 2,065 employees, which puts Hall County beyond the tipping point. More than 7,500 Hall County residents have now completed training, exceeding the 5% mark of 7,010.

Stewards of Children® training is an evidence-based program scientifically proven to help participants prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. The training helps participants better understand the issue of child sexual abuse, identify unsafe situations and practices and react responsibly in the best interest of the children they serve.

In Hall County, Stewards of Children training is provided through the Edmondson Telford Child Advocacy Center (CAC), a not-for-profit organization that provides forensic interviews and physical exams in a child friendly environment and also coordinates multi-disciplinary oversight of all child abuse cases to strengthen prosecution of perpetrators and ensure no child “falls through the cracks” of the judicial system.

The Hall County initiative is part of a statewide prevention effort under the leadership of the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. Georgia was the first state to implement a comprehensive statewide initiative using Darkness to Light’ Stewards of Children program, and Georgia is frequently used as a national model for other states. The Northeast Georgia region leads the state in this effort, with seven counties in addition to Hall having reached the tipping point: Rabun, Lumpkin, Stephens, Habersham, Dawson and White. Hall County is the 21st county in Georgia to reach the tipping point – and also the largest county so far. 

“I am thrilled that we have finally achieved this years-long goal,” says Heather Hayes, executive director of the Edmondson Telford CAC. “So many in our community have committed to this training – from law enforcement to our school systems to concerned parents and caregivers – it has truly been a community-wide effort.”

One in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Seventy-three percent of children don’t tell anyone until well after the abuse occurred, if they tell at all. Sixty percent of children who do tell, disclose to a teacher.

In September 2018, the Gainesville City School System completed training all of its 950+ employees, achieving Partner in Prevention designation by training more than 90% of its employees. The Hall County School System made a similar training commitment for its staff – starting first with certified staff, who account for more than half of their 3,500 employees. Completing the training for their certified staff put Hall County over the tipping point – now on the way to the 10% mark, a designation only three counties in Georgia have achieved.

“We were pleased to join this effort in protection of our community’s children,” says Will Schofield, superintendent of Hall County Schools. “The two-hour training was a significant time investment for our teachers and certified staff, but many reported that it was some of the best training they had received. They recognize the value it brings to their daily interactions with students, as well as other children within their sphere of influence. For our employees to help Hall County achieve this incredible milestone is an added bonus.”

Jaclyn Crow, LMSW, a social worker with Hall County School System led the training coordination within the school system.  “As a board member with the Edmondson Telford Child Advocacy Center, I am able to see first-hand the need for this training within our community. I am so pleased to have been a small part of this community-wide effort. The feedback I have received from teachers has been phenomenal; I know it will have an impact within our schools!”

Stewards of Children training is offered through the Edmondson Telford CAC at no cost to the community thanks to funding from United Way of Hall County.

“We celebrate with the community in reaching tipping point and are so pleased to have been a part of this effort thanks to the generosity of our donors,” says Jessica Dudley, president and chief professional officer of United Way of Hall County. “This collaborative is a perfect example of the power of collective impact to benefit the most vulnerable in our community.”

Stewards of Children training is not just for employees working with children, adds Hayes; everyone who loves a child can benefit from the training.

“While we certainly want to train those working with children professionally, we also want to train parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors – all of us can learn more about identifying signs of abuse in children we interact with and recognizing high risk situations to avoid. We’ve had great success with parents bringing together a group of friends for an in-home training – they enjoy a parents’ night out and also learn valuable information in the process!”

To learn more about Stewards of Children program in Hall County, please contact Steve Collins with Adults Protecting Children at AdultsProtectingChildren@gmail.com.

Phil Niekro Golf Classic Celebrates 20 Years

Thursday October 20, 2016 –

BRASELTON, Ga. – 44 teams, 36 holes and more than 40 celebrity team captains came together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Phil Niekro Golf Classic, an annual golf tournament to benefit the Edmondson-Telford Center for Children. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher Phil Niekro started the tournament, along with center staff and supporters, in 1996 – even before the center opened in 1997.

“We knew we had a need for a child advocacy center to serve Hall and Dawson counties, but we were in desperate need of funding,” says Lydia Sartain, former district attorney for Hall and Dawson counties who was a driving force behind the opening of the center. “Phil and I met around that time, and I told him about our initiative. He said, Let me know if I can help.’ Twenty years and $1 million later, he’s still asking – and answering – that question.”

The Edmondson Telford Center provides services to Hall and Dawson County children who are victims of sexual or severe physical abuse or neglect, as well as their non-offending family members. The Center provides a safe environment for crisis intervention and medical advocacy as the victim moves through the examination and investigation stages. The center opened in 1997 and serves more than 300 children free-of-charge annually – totaling more than 10,000 children served since their opening. The high quality evidence gathered through forensic interviews and medical examinations has proven critical in the successful prosecution of countless offenders and has increased the prosecution rates of child offenders in Hall and Dawson counties. The Center serves as a central coordination point for multiple agencies involved in child abuse cases to ensure that no child “falls through the cracks.”

“The Phil Niekro Golf Classic has been the foundation of keeping our center open during the past 20 years, including helping to fund the construction of our new building, The Little House, in 2009,” says Heather Hayes, executive director of the Center. “The work we do would not be possible without Phil’s determined efforts.”

“Many celebrities lend their names to help raise money for worthy causes,” adds Jane Carpenter, tournament coordinator. “But Phil’s work with the tournament has never been about just lending his name – he works tirelessly, year-round, to make this fundraiser a success – from attending and leading every golf committee meeting to convincing more than 40 of his celebrity athlete buddies to come play in the tournament each year to calling on businesses for donations to help keep the costs of our tournament low. Phil’s commitment to the Center is tremendous.”

Carpenter says they won’t know the total amount raised from this year’s tournament until they are able to tabulate all that came in during the day, but each year’s tournament usually brings in about $70,000 – $80,000.

For more information about the Edmondson Telford Center for Children, visit www.etcenterforchildren.org

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The Edmondson Telford Center for Children provides the following core services:

  • Videotaped forensic interviews of suspected child abuse victims conducted by professionally trained certified forensic interviewers and coordinated with the involved investigative agencies.
  • Forensic medical examinations of suspected child abuse victims conducted by professionally trained certified forensic interviewers and coordinated with the involved investigative agencies.
  • Crisis intervention, resource materials and emotional support for victims and non-offending caregivers.
  • Legislative advocacy for children’s rights and issues regarding child maltreatment
  • Coordinated interdisciplinary review of cases by a team of professionals, including law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals, school personnel, victim’s assistance staff and child advocates.
  • Professional training and community education for effectively identifying and responding to child abuse.

The Center is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, the national association and accrediting body for the over 750 children’s advocacy centers serving each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

 

Edmondson-Telford Center for Children earns accreditation from National Children’s Alliance

Monday January 25, 2016 –

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – The Edmondson-Telford Center for Children has been awarded accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the country, National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation is the highest level of membership with National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.

The Edmondson-Telford Center provides services to Hall and Dawson County children who are victims of sexual or severe physical abuse or neglect, as well as their non-offending family members. The Center provides a safe environment for crisis intervention and medical advocacy as the victim moves through the examination and investigation stages. The center opened in 1997 and serves more than 300 children free-of-charge annually. The high quality evidence gathered through forensic interviews and medical examinations has proven critical in the successful prosecution of countless offenders and has increased the prosecution rates of child offenders in Hall and Dawson counties. The Center serves as a central coordination point for multiple agencies involved in child abuse cases to ensure that no child “falls through the cracks.”

National Children’s Alliance awards Accredited Membership based on a CAC’s compliance with 10 national standards of accreditation to ensure effective, efficient and consistent delivery of services to child abuse victims. National Children’s Alliance updated these standards in 2010 to reflect the most recent evidence-based practices in the field of child abuse intervention and prevention. According to these standards, Accredited Members must utilize a functioning and effective Multidisciplinary Team approach to work collaboratively in child abuse investigation, prosecution, and treatment. National Children’s Alliance also considers standards regarding a center’s cultural competency and diversity, forensic interviews, victim support and advocacy, medical evaluation, therapeutic intervention, and child focused setting.

“We are extremely proud of our accreditation from National Children’s Alliance,” says Heather Hayes, CFNP, executive director of the Edmondson Telford Center. “It not only validates our proven effective approach to responding to allegations of child abuse, but also provides consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole.”

“The Edmondson-Telford Center for Children is to be commended for its excellent work serving victims of child abuse,” said Teresa Huizar, executive director of National Children’s Alliance. “As the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers across the country, our goal is to ensure that every victim of child abuse has access to high quality services that result from professional collaboration.”

For more information about the Edmondson Telford Center for Children, visit www.etcenterforchildren.org

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The Edmondson Telford Center for Children provides the following core services:

  • Videotaped forensic interviews of suspected child abuse victims conducted by professionally trained certified forensic interviewers and coordinated with the involved investigative agencies.
  • Forensic medical examinations of suspected child abuse victims conducted by professionally trained certified forensic interviewers and coordinated with the involved investigative agencies.
  • Crisis intervention, resource materials and emotional support for victims and non-offending caregivers.
  • Legislative advocacy for children’s rights and issues regarding child maltreatment
  • Coordinated interdisciplinary review of cases by a team of professionals, including law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals, school personnel, victim’s assistance staff and child advocates.
  • Professional training and community education for effectively identifying and responding to child abuse.

National Children’s Alliance is the national association and accrediting body for the over 750 children’s advocacy centers serving each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first, National Children’s Alliance provides support and advocacy to its accredited membership, as well as numerous developing centers, multidisciplinary teams and child abuse professionals around the country, and the world. As the national authority on multidisciplinary approaches to supporting child victims of abuse, the purpose of National Children’s Alliance is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse. Founded in 1998, National Children’s Alliance provides accreditation opportunities, financial assistance, training, technical assistance, research and education to communities, child abuse professionals and children’s advocacy centers throughout the United States in support of child abuse intervention, advocacy and prevention. www.nationalchildrensalliance.org

The 3rd Annual Celebrity Server Night… SUCCESS!

Thursday April 11, 2013 – Our 3rd Annual Celebrity Server Night was April 11, 2013, at Mellow Mushroom in Gainesville. It was a night filled with fun, food and prizes! All tips and 20% of sales from the night went to the Edmondson-Telford Center for Children to help stop child abuse. 

The celebrity servers worked hard and did a fantastic job to make sure the customers had a special night! We had many great servers:

Peter Konz, Atlanta Falcon
Dominique Franks, Atlanta Falcon
Cliff Matthews, Atlanta Falcon
Jonathan Massaquoi, Atlanta Falcon
Bradie Ewing, Atlanta Falcon
Lamar Holmes, Atlanta Falcon
Freddie Falcon
Mike “Moonpie” Wilson, former NFL
Corey Hulsey, former NFL
Dewey McClain, former Falcon
Buck Lanford, Fox 5 Atlanta
Joel William, WDUN Radio
Katie B Davis, WDUN Radio
Joel May, UGA Cheerleader
Katie Strickland, UGA Cheerleader
Hannah Lech, UGA Cheerleader
Makenzie Blalock, UGA Cheerleader
Madeline Lefferts, UGA Cheerleader
Stepanie Woodard, Hall County Solicitor

GTO 2000 and Wells Fargo Advisors sponsored the Raffle. We gave away a 50 inch flat screen TV and a $500 Apple Gift Card. Jennifer Rude won the Apple Card, and Rochelle Edmonds took home the TV!

We would like to thank the generous Mellow Mushroom Owners, John and Heather Bush, and their amazing staff for making this event possible. As well as, GTO 2000, Wells Fargo Advisors and the many customers who came out to make this night a HUGE success! And finally a BIG SHOUT OUT to our Celebrity Servers – they were all AWESOME!!

Get MELLOW……… STOP child abuse! 

Mark your calendar now for April 10, 2014 – you don’t want to miss it!

2012 Phil Niekro Golf Classic -Date Set

Thursday November 08, 2012 – Save the date for the 16th annual Phil Niekro Golf Classic, Nov 8, 2012 at the beautiful Chateau Elan Resort. 

Title and Corporate sponsors will be guaranteed a 4-person team spot playing on the prestigious Legends golf course. Join Phil and his celebrity captains for a great day of golf and a truly wonderful way to support the Edmondson-Telford Center for Children serving abused & neglected children in Hall & Dawson Counties. 

For more information, please call Jane Carpenter at 770-287-2693 or email at: cjcarpenter@bellsouth.net

Teen Charged as Adult in Molestation Case

Friday August 10, 2012 – 
Daniel Lee Eller

GAINESVILLE – A Hall County teenager is being charged as an adult in a child molestation case that occurred last month.

According to Hall County Sheriff’s Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks, deputies responded to a residence in the Sardis area early the morning of July 30.

Investigators said the 15 year old suspect was intoxicated and entered a house through an unlocked window and was caught in the act of molesting a five year old girl. The girl’s mother went into the room to check on the girl and caught the suspect in the act, according to Wilbanks.

Investigators said the victim’s father detained the teen until deputies arrived. Wilbanks said Eller was arrested and taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries.

At an August 6th court hearing, juvenile court charges were dropped and the suspect was charged as an adult with aggravated child molestation and burglary, according to Wilbanks.

He said the juvenile offender is being identified in accordance with the open records act, which indicates that cases involving juvenile offenders over the age of 13, for certain offenses that are in the jurisdiction of the superior court, are public record. 

15 year-old Daniel Lee Eller was booked into the Hall County Jail and then boarded back out to Gainesville RYDC, where he remained held without bond. His next scheduled court appearance is September 6th in the Magistrate Court of Hall County, according to Wilbanks.

West gets Life Sentence in Child’s Death

Thursday August 09, 2012 – West gets life sentence in child’s death

Local man found guilty in slaying of 18-month-old; child’s mother also charged

Barring a successful appeal, Stephen West will spend the rest of his life in prison for the death of an 18-month-old girl under his care last year.

A Hall County jury found West guilty Tuesday in the June 2011 death of Kaylee Kipp.

Autopsy reports showed the Gainesville girl died as a result of several blows to the head.

It took the jury less than three hours to determine West was responsible, declaring the 23-year-old guilty of one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, three counts of cruelty to a child in the first degree and one count each of aggravated assault and cruelty to a child in the second degree.

Some of the cruelty charges stem from testimony and evidence that two other children in the home, also daughters of Deanna Renee Kipp, West’s live-in girlfriend, were also the target of his abuse.

Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller gave West the maximum sentence for the charge, sentencing him to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 20 years for the charge of cruelty to children.

Fuller said the sentence, handed down within minutes of the verdict, was necessary retribution for the “extremely heinous act that (West) committed against Kaylee.”

West’s attorney has 30 days to appeal.

Kaylee was found unresponsive at an apartment complex on Gainesville’s Riverside Drive last year.

Police determined the child had been dead for quite some time before they were called; her body was cold and stiff to the touch.

Two other children in the home also were found to have bruising and injuries that were “highly suspicious” of abuse, according to court testimony from a nurse practitioner who examined the children on the day of Kaylee’s death.

Kaylee’s mother has also been charged in her death.

The mother’s case will likely go to trial later this year.

Before Fuller decided whether West’s life sentence would include the possibility of parole, his stepmother, 77-year-old Christine West, spoke on his behalf, telling the judge West had “been a good son” and that she loved him “dearly.”

“I’d like to have him home, but whatever happens, I love him as my son,” she said.

Before he was found guilty of murder, West had no prior criminal record. The clean history usually works in a defendant’s favor during sentencing, and West’s attorney, Leonard Parks, Jr., asked Fuller to consider that.

But Hall County’s chief assistant district attorney Lindsay Burton asked the judge to disregard those factors.

“No criminal history doesn’t matter in a case like this,” she said. “He preyed on a child who could not stand up for herself … he brutally beat to death an 18-month-old child and tortured two others.”

Parks also asked the judge to consider West’s age. Even with a sentence that granted him the possibility of parole, West would be in his 50s before he ever got a chance to go before a parole board, Parks said.

The possibility of parole, Parks said, would give West an incentive to work toward a better life instead of “locking him away like an animal.”

Despite West’s age, Fuller said the circumstances of the case “the evidence that West had beaten children, resulting in the death of one” were too serious to give a lesser sentence.

The weeklong trial had been an emotional one. During prosecutors’ closing arguments, jurors, attorneys and observers had tears in their eyes as they were confronted with a photograph of the smiling 18-month-old.

Fuller said he hoped that West would consider the fact he was still alive, and said that fact alone should give West an incentive to change his life.

“You took that opportunity from Kaylee,” Fuller said.

Kaylee’s biological father thanked the jury for its work, saying he could finally begin to put his daughter’s death behind him.

“I loved my daughter very much,” he said. “I never got to tell her goodbye.”

West showed little emotion as a court officer read the verdict and did not turn back to look at his stepmother as he exited the courtroom in handcuffs.

Both West and Deanna Kipp have remained in jail since their arrests last year. West’s sentence will account for time served.

Court documents allege Deanna Kipp also “willfully deprive(d) the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the health and well-being of Kaylee Kipp was jeopardized by failing to seek medical care for the child after injury.”

In addition to the charges she and West share, Deanna Kipp has also been charged with an additional count each of felony murder and cruelty to a child.

Hall County Schools Purchase Program

Thursday August 09, 2012 – Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe

www.childhelp.org/SpeakUpBeSafe 

Created in partnership with development teams at Arizona State University and tested in Florida schools during the 2010-2011 school-year, the new Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe curriculum, materials and training capsules are currently being launched to schools throughout the country for the upcoming fall semester.

Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe, the evolution of Good-Touch Bad-Touch, offers a 21st century approach to the prevention of abuse by utilizing web-based tools, curriculum on Internet safety skills and cyber-bullying and a redirected focus on adult responsibility and skill building in keeping our children safe.

Childhelp celebrity ambassador Kathie Lee Gifford donated her time to narrate the training video. “As an advocate of children’s rights, I think educating our children is the greatest gift we can give them,” said Kathie Lee Gifford. “Childhelp’s Speak Up Be Safe curriculum helps children find their voice through age-appropriate teachings, and allows them to prevent abuse in their own lives.”

To go along with the brand new curriculum, a new website has also been developed for the program. Go to www.Childhelp.org/SpeakUpBeSafe to learn more about the program and to watch Kathie Lee’s video.