Children’s advocacy center to hold tour July 15

Published 2:20 pm Thursday, July 3, 2014

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center will open its door July 15 to those who want to tour the facility and learn about services the center provides to child abuse victims in Chilton County.

For nearly 10 months, the center has held monthly Bridges of Hope tours and lunches for people interested in seeing, learning and asking questions about the center and its services for local children that have been abused.

The next Bridges of Hope tour at Butterfly Bridge Children's Advocacy Center in Clanton will be held from 12-1 p.m. A light lunch will follow the tour.

The next Bridges of Hope tour at Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center in Clanton will be held from 12-1 p.m. A light lunch will follow the tour.

“People may have heard of the agency, or maybe they haven’t heard of it,” said Jana Conlee Zuelzke, executive director and child forensic interview specialist at Butterfly Bridge. “I want to tell them how we work with child abuse victims so they have a more specific understanding of what we do. When you come into the place where these children come daily, I think it makes it more real for the people who come here.”

The tours, and light lunches that follow, are free and typically take place the second or third Tuesday of every month from 12–1 p.m. at the center, located at 603 Second Ave. N. in downtown Clanton.

Zuelzke said the tours are designed for adults and do not exceed an hour so people who attend on their lunch breaks can return to work in a timely manner.

“We keep it within that hour,” Zuelzke said. “We are very conscious of everyone’s time. We only have tours during the time we don’t have clients in due to confidentiality purposes.”

Zuelzke said she also tries to limit each tour to a maximum of 10 people.

“I want it to be a smaller, intimate group,” she said. “I think people in a smaller group like that are more likely to ask questions and express concerns.”

Zuelzke started holding tours every three or four months for the public in 2012.

“We decided to do it monthly just to get more people in,” Zuelzke said. “Last October, we started doing them on a monthly basis.”

The primary purpose of the tours is to raise awareness of the facility’s presence, mission and importance in the county, as well as educate people on child abuse.

Zuelzke said she came up with the name “Bridges of Hope” for the tours based on the center’s name, Butterfly Bridge.

‘Bridge’ is symbolic of children crossing a bridge over to a life filled with hope, she said.

“I wanted people to realize child abuse is happening here, but I also want them to know when children leave here, they have hope,” Zuelzke said. “This place gives so many children in our community hope.”