hcs-hort-cmyk-coated-01Contact: Danielle Lamson
Communications Manager
610 Campus Drive
Abingdon, VA 24210

September 29, 2015

ABINGDON, VA (September 29, 2015) – On October 1, 2015, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol, Washington, and Smyth County (CAC) will officially become a service of Highlands Community Services (HCS), the largest local provider of quality mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual disability services.

HCS Executive Director Jeff Fox explains, “HCS administration was contacted by the leadership at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Bristol a few months ago requesting our help. The CAC has been faced with a complex set of challenges that have jeopardized their ability to ensure that their critical, and very valued services, to the children of our community can continue. HCS has agreed to join forces with the CAC, providing the comprehensive clinical and financial support needed. HCS can assist the CAC in expanding their services and reaching into the future like never before. We are looking forward to being able to help protect such an incredibly important community resource.”

CAC Executive Director Kathi Roark further explains, “The CAC is poised at the edge another opportunity for growth. Confronted with a landscape of dwindling local, state, and federal funding for service delivery, and a rising demand for services (31% increase in new victims in FY15), the CAC Board of Directors approached Highlands Community Services for a possible partnership arrangement. HCS administration was quick to respond with very positive actions. HCS is able to provide the administrative infrastructure and financial support needed for the CAC to continue its operations without any lapse in service delivery. The merger of the two organizations will provide the community with an expanded, trauma-focused approach to child abuse treatment, with an extensive array of wrap-around services available to support victims and families. The CAC will continue to operate out of its current location in Bristol, VA and will maintain its name. The CAC staff will continue doing the great work that local agencies rely on.”

As stated, the CAC will continue to operate out of its current location in Bristol, VA and will maintain its name. However, its branding will be refreshed and will reflect the new partnership.

“This is a positive integration of two systems .The future is very bright for the CAC, and we are thrilled”, states Kathi Roark.

The Children’s Advocacy Center leverages the efforts of law enforcement, prosecutors, medical and mental health providers, social workers, and others to provide a seamless, comprehensive system of support for child victims of neglect, sexual, and physical abuse.

Highlands Community Services is a multi-faceted Virginia Community Service Board providing mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual disability services to the residents of Bristol and Washington County, VA. Serving thousands each year, the goal is to provide a full continuum of care and to increase access to innovative mental health services…improving lives and discovering possibilities along the way. To learn more call 276.525.1550 or log onto www.highlandscsb.org.


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