After a decade of service and as part of its long-range plan to meet the growing demand for child abuse intervention, prevention and counseling services in Northern Michigan, The Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center (TBCAC) is expanding its facility at 2000 Chartwell Drive. A “virtual” groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 9:00 am. The Traverse Bay community is invited to join this virtual event by connecting with TBCAC via Facebook Live:
“In just the past five years, we’ve experienced a nearly 300% increase in the number of child forensic interviews conducted at our Center,” remarked TBCAC Executive Director Sue Bolde. “At this rate of growth, we expect the demand for our services to double by 2024. In order to best protect our community’s most vulnerable children and to continue meeting the child protection, healing and justice needs of children and families throughout Northern Michigan, the time is now to expand our facility’s capacity.”
This essential building expansion has been made possible thanks to generous contributions from several private donations, as well as foundation grants including:
• Impact 100 — $101,333.33 Jumpstart grant
• Rotaries Charities — $10,000 Seed Grant for expansion planning
• Carls Foundation — $150,000
• Oleson Foundation — $50,000
• The Art and Mary Schmuckal Family Foundation — $25,000
In collaboration with project partners Cornwell Architects, Gosling Czubak Engineering Sciences, Inc. and Burdco, Inc., the new 2,400 square foot addition to the existing Center will feature expanded child forensic interview rooms specially designed for child victims from toddlers to teens, multidisciplinary team consult rooms and separate family waiting rooms to enable the investigation of two alleged child abuse cases at the Center at the same time. Space will also be made available for additional TBCAC staff needed to oversee and manage the increase in investigative and counseling services at TBCAC.
Construction is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 27, with completion targeted in Q1-2021. During the construction, the Center plans to continue conducting onsite child forensic interviews and counseling services as possible, in addition to expanding its tele-health services.
Since opening its doors in 2010, over 2,300 child victims and 2,300 non-offending caregivers and family members have received investigative, therapeutic and advocacy services at TBCAC. Over 70% of the cases seen at TBCAC involve allegations of child sexual abuse — the most frequent ages involved in these cases are children aged 4 to 6, and 13 to 15.