The Redwood County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) was presented an achievement award from the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Dec. 4, 2017 at the annual AMC conference in St. Cloud.

This award is presented to county programs in the state which exhibit excellence and innovation.

Vicki Knobloch, Redwood County administrator, said she believed that the CAC was truly deserving of this honor and worked with CAC coordinator, Katie Salden, to fill out the nomination application. The application was then reviewed by an AMC awards panel, and five counties were selected for awards.

This is the first time Redwood County has received the AMC achievement award.

According to Salden, this project is a significant county achievement because “we have built this program from ground zero in our community.”

Having a CAC in Redwood County, even having a CAC in southwest Minnesota, allows children and families in the region to receive comprehensive services close to home.

Salden added, “receiving this award provided a public platform to share our mission and let it be known that in outstate Minnesota we can and do provide for our rural communities. The development of our CAC program has been a grassroots effort thriving on the collaboration of multiple agencies and volunteers in our community. This award brings recognition to the hard work our partners have put forth in the creation of a children’s advocacy center and their continued support for the growth and improvement of the center. The creation of our CAC is also a significant achievement, because we are amplifying the voices of child abuse victims through our program.

“Our county is standing up against child abuse and ensuring victims are not falling through the cracks of the system by increasing communication and collaborating efforts for these investigations.

“Because of the tremendous ongoing support of our county board of commissioners the Redwood County CAC has been able to operate successfully for the last few years and not only serve our community of Redwood County, but we are able to look forward to being a regional provider for our neighboring communities.

“We participate annually in child abuse awareness events and work to educate our community to prevent child abuse. Having a 215 percent increase in our case load in just one year, we are well on our way to protecting more child abuse victims and helping lift their voices. “We are truly honored by this recognition and thankful every day to serve our community.”