LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Thursday Harold's Househosted the first East Texas Child Abuse Conference, providing resources to helpbetter serve victims of abuse.
The two day event brought together federal,state and local officials for training and how each entity works together toprotect the children in East Texas.
"When a child in ourcommunity is subject to physical or sexual abuse we're all hurt," said ClydeHerring, Former DA, Angelina County.
Child advocates, CPS, lawenforcement and prosecution are learning to work together more effectively tohelp protect children in East Texas."
"All of these worktogether in order to make sure that the best interest of the child is beingtaken care of and the child gets on the road to healing and justice," saidLaura Squiers, Executive Director, Harold's House.
Harold's House Executive DirectorLaura Squiers says through case studies and training programs they aredeveloping more effective ways to help victims and their cases.
"We used to think itwas important to interview the child just one time but we've found a secondtime they are getting 25-30% more information," said Squiers.
Crimes Against Childreninvestigator Gabe Wall says that when it comes to keeping kids safe it muchmore than just taking a report.
Wall says the victims needto know their voices can be heard.
"The kids of todayare our future we have to take care of these kids now we have to make sure theyhave faith in the system," said Wall.
Lufkin Middle SchoolResource Officer Ralph Bean has worked with students for 15 years and saysstudent safety is top priority.
"It's kind of a hardfor middle school kids to actually talk to someone you have to build thattrust and that why I go back to sayingwe want to be positive and have a safe place for them to come," said Bean.
HAROLD'S HOUSE OFFICIALSSAY THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO PUT AN END TO CHILD ABUSE.
AND HAVING EACHORGANIZATION TRAINED IS ANOTHER STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.