Child Protect celebrates opening

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, January 21, 2010

As strange as it sounds, Child Protect executive director Jannah Bailey says in a perfect world she would be without a job and homeless.

For Bailey to be out of work would mean that children are no longer being abused.

“I would hope we would not have the need for this office,” Bailey said. “But unfortunately, children are still being abused and neglected.”

On Thursday, Child Protect held it official grand opening for its new children’s advocacy center in Clanton.

“It’s such a historic and momentous occasion for the community of Chilton County,” Bailey said.

Child Protect works with abused kids, conducting interviews to help law enforcement and the Department of Human Resources. The videotaped interviews also help cut down on the number of times children have to recount their abuse to strangers.

“The whole thing we are trying to do is lessen the impact on a child when a child abuse case is reported,” said Jana Conlee, forensic interviewer and therapist.

District Attorney Randall Houston said Child Protect’s welcoming environment and therapists make the experience less traumatic for children, compared to being interviewed repeatedly by investigators.

Having a location in “in their home town” helps too, he said.

Child Project has been operating a couple of days a week at its Lumac Drive location since last October.

Based in Montgomery, the nonprofit has served Chilton, Autauga, Elmore and Montgomery counties for the past 20 years.