AVON — Susie’s Place, Hendricks County’s Child Advocacy Center, opened its doors just three and a half years ago, but the agency quickly outgrew its space. This week, the staff and board of directors held a grand re-opening event at their new center in Avon, which more than triples its space.
“This has been quite a challenge for the staff and our teams,” said Emily Perry, executive director for Susie’s Place. “We closed one center, moved, and re-opened here in just one week.”
She said the space will enable the center to do more work for the children of Hendricks County and surrounding communities.
Susie’s Place is Hendricks County’s Child Advocacy Center. The facility employees trained forensic interviewers who help children who have experienced abuse or witnessed a violent crime tell their story. The center is designed to be child friendly.
During interviews, there is a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) that can watch and make sure they don’t have any more questions for a child. Members of these teams come from law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, and Child Protective Services.
Georgie Teipen works in the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s office and is part of the MDT system.
“This space will enable us to do more interviews and will help with scheduling,” Teipen said. “Now we can have multiple teams here or have multiple interviews going on. This is huge for us.”
Teipen had worked for the prosecutor’s office when the MDT system was first put into place. She’s back on the Hendricks County team and said the process has gotten event better.
“It has gotten even more effective,” she said. “I try to be at all the interviews that I can, but I can’t always be here. The process is in place so I can pick it up and get things filed. It’s a good team and the people here are unbelievable.”