AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- Child Enrichment is breaking ground on its new, more than 16,000 square foot, building. The $6 million facility will have a second forensic interview room, a medical exam room and more therapy rooms to serve more kids at once.
Right now, they have a waiting list of children they need to see and are restricted by the size of their current building. They only have one forensic interview room and to put it in perspective, in March they interviewed 82 kids. The new space will give them another interview room and help shorten that list.
At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, there will be a brief ceremony to break ground on that new facility.
The ceremony includes a speaker, Superior Court Judge Amanda Heath.
Attendees will also place pinwheels representing the 1,066 kids served by Child Enrichment last year. This is to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“I think we just want people to understand the magnitude of the work we do at Child Enrichment. Last year we served 1,066 children right here in our community. And those are just the kids who have told somebody. We know that disclosure rates are really low, so the number of kids that need services are probably much higher than that,” said Kari Viola-Brooke, Executive Director at Child Enrichment.
Viola-Brooke said the goal for their advocates is to be out of a job.
“Over the past 6 years our numbers have increased about 70 percent. We want that number to go down. So, a big component we’re going to add is prevention. We’re going to add a third department of prevention and we want that number to go completely down. Ultimately, we want Child Enrichment to go out of business,” she explained.
Viola-Brooke expects Child Enrichment to be in the new building by May of 2023.
Wednesday morning’s event is open to the public and will take place on the property beside the current building on Walden Drive.
Child Enrichment still needs to raise nearly $2 million for their capital campaign. For more information on the organization or to donate, CLICK HERE.