Butterfly Bridge and 19th Judicial Circuit sign teamwork agreement

Published 1:56 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017


Butterfly Bridge Child Advocacy Center and the 19th Judicial Circuit renewed their annual commitment to work together for lessening trauma for community children with a Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Agreement Signing at the Millbrook Municipal Courtroom on Nov. 2.

With Butterfly Bridge’s recent expansion to Autauga and Elmore counties, this year marked the first circuit-wide signing of the agreement, Butterfly Bridge Executive Director Jana Zuelzke said.

“It went great,” Zuelzke said. “I was extremely pleased with the turnout with the whole circuit. That’s coming from three different counties — we weren’t sure how it was going to work, but it turned out great!”

Signers of the document included Chilton, Autauga and Elmore circuit representatives, agency leaders and some of their “frontline workers,” according to Zuelzke.

“The entire (multidisciplinary) team actually drafted it together,” Zuelzke said of the document. “We have a protocol that we all drafted together a few years ago, and it basically just outlines the way that we’re all going to work together when there’s a child abuse case reported.”

Zuelzke said updates or revisions to the document are made when necessary, prior to each year’s recommitment signing.

The signing has been an annual event since the inception of Butterfly Bridge in 2012, Zuelzke said.

“It’s something that we do as a part of our standard every year as well — that we have to recertify with all those different agencies that are our partners,” Zuelzke said.

Butterfly Bridge partners with 19th Judicial Circuit agencies for two reasons, Zuelzke said.

“The reason why we work together on these cases is so that the child or the family is not re-traumatized during the investigation and prosecution of the case,” Zuelzke said.

“The other reason we work together,” Zuelzke said, “is that we know when we coordinate everything like that during a child abuse investigation, that it makes for a stronger case in the criminal justice system if the case does go into the criminal justice system.”

For more information about Butterfly Bridge, visit ButterflyBridgeCAC.org or check out its Facebook page.