MEDIA CONTACT

For more information and photos, please contact Outreach Coordinator Elena Cawley at 931-723-8888 or elena@coffeecountycac.org, or reach out to Executive Director Joyce Prusak at 931-723-8888 or joyce@coffeecountycac.org

EXPERTISE

The Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center has experts to speak about: 

  • Child sexual abuse

  • Child physical abuse

  • Child abuse prevention

  • Forensic interviewing for children

  • Multidisciplinary team approach to investigating child abuse cases

  • Providing resources for children and families when there’s concern of child abuse 

  • Minimal Facts training

  • Talking to Kids training

ABOUT COFFEE COUNTY CAC
When the most vulnerable members of our community are harmed, they find a safe place and support at the Coffee County Children's Advocacy Center. The Coffee County CAC is a nonprofit organization. We believe every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood. We prevent trauma and provide healing through prevention, education and intervention. Our vision is for a community where children are safe, families are strengthened, and victims are healed. Our quest to become a society free of child abuse began in 2004, when a group of local activists led by the Coffee County Church Women United founded Coffee County CAC. The center opened its doors in June of 2005 to serve children of Coffee County.

ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joyce Prusak serves as executive director of the Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center. Prusak provides leadership for the Coffee County CAC. She guides a team of professionals who work to ensure the center reaches its destination: a community where every child is happy and safe.

“Our mission is to serve children who are victims of severe abuse through prevention, education and intervention,” Prusak said. “Our main goal is to give children and families who walk through our doors hope and support on their way to healing. We work to give the community the tools and knowledge to help prevent child abuse.”

Her role at the Coffee County CAC has allowed Prusak to turn her passion into action.

“Being able to see the children come in week after week and witnessing the healing they are experiencing helps me realize how important our work is to these families and to the future of our community,” Prusak said.  

Prusak invites community members to join the center’s quest to become a society free of child abuse by volunteering, donating and learning how to prevent child abuse.

 

BOARD MEMBERS

Ivy Petty (president)
Barbara Arp (vice president)
Lauren Jernigan (treasurer)    
Bethany Arnold
Kalee Harryman
Margaret Henderson
Megan Hershman
Sherry Teal
Tracey Hershman-Weibert
Ray Burns
Heather Phillips
Joanna Reynolds                         

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does the Coffee County CAC charge families for services?

No. All services we provide are free.

Does the Coffee County CAC charge for prevention programs for groups?

No. Prevention programs are available for interested parties in our community. All prevention programs are free. If you’re interested in our prevention programs, call us at 931-723-8888.

Does the Coffee County CAC help children outside of Coffee County? 

We do courtesy cases for other areas if the children live in Coffee County now, or if it is easier for the family to travel to our center. Also, if children have gone through a Children’s Advocacy Center elsewhere and have relocated in Coffee County, we offer continued support services, such as therapy services.

How is Coffee County CAC funded?

We are supported through a combination of state grants, local government, private foundations and individual donations. Less than 50% of our budget comes from state grants.

What does the Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT) do?

CPIT is a multidisciplinary group that meets at the Coffee County CAC monthly to discuss every severe child physical abuse case and child sexual abuse case reported in our district?

What agencies are part of CPIT? 

District Attorney General’s Office, Department of Children’s Services, Our Kids Clinic, Centerstone, Coffee County Sherriff’s Department, Manchester Police Department, Tullahoma Police Department, Coffee County Juvenile Court and the Coffee County CAC are part of CPIT.

Are you part of the Department of Children’s Services? 

No, we are a private nonprofit organization.

How do I report suspicions of child abuse?

If you suspect child abuse, call 877-237-0004. You can report suspicions of child abuse anonymously. State law mandates anyone suspicious of child abuse to report it.

What are possible signs of child sexual abuse?

The symptoms of abuse vary from child to child. The following are possible indicators of child sex abuse, according to the Department of Children’s Services: soreness or bruising, pain or itching in genital or anal areas; sexually transmitted diseases; nightmares or bedwetting; unexplained loss of appetite; becoming isolated or withdrawn; repeated runaway or suicide attempts; self-destructive behavior/self-injury/cutting, risky or delinquent behavior; substance abuse. See the full list.

What are possible signs of child physical abuse?

The symptoms of abuse vary from child to child. The following are possible indicators of child physical abuse, according to the Department of Children’s Services: unexplained fractures or injures; previous injuries in various healing stages; patterned injuries consistent with objects of abuse (cigarettes, belt, hands); emotional turmoil (anxiety, depressed, suicidal); developmental delays; self-isolation or undue aggression; fear of going home; many school absences. See the full list.

How can I support the Coffee County CAC?

You can support the center by donating time, money or an item from our wish list. Donations may be tax deductible, and your support helps the center reduce trauma and provide healing to children and families in Coffee County.