Creating A Brighter World For Children

Noah walks into the Brighter World Child Advocacy Center. He doesn’t want to be there. Who would? But Noah has been sexually assaulted by his stepfather. The police are involved. The district attorney’s office and department of human services need statements and physical examinations. The court process is looming. Noah just wants to be safe at home with his dad and stepmom.

Last year, Noah’s dad would’ve had to take him out of his Routt County community—to Glenwood Springs, Summit County or maybe Denver—to access people with the training and resources to best help Noah. Instead, Brighter World can provide Noah with what he needs right in his hometown.

As Noah enters the child-friendly center, he’s welcomed into a room with bright colors, toys and a big comfy couch. The people are caring and treat him with warmth and understanding. He’s scared, but thinks: Maybe this won’t be so bad.

Last year, Noah might have been interviewed multiple times by police, lawyers, social workers, and medical professionals in unfamiliar office spaces. At Brighter World, Noah is introduced to a kind woman who helps him and his family understand what to expect. He meets another adult who he learns is specially trained to listen to him about what happened, and a third adult who said that they would do a physical exam to make sure he was okay.

Noah learned that his story would be videotaped, so that he wouldn’t have to repeat it multiple times. That people who cared about him, a detective and a caseworker, would be watching from another room so they could help him too. And that the kind woman would remain with his family answering questions and taking care of them during his interview and exam.

Noah didn’t want to be there that day, but when he walked out of Brighter World Child Advocacy Center, he felt the worst was behind him and the healing process had already begun.

Approximately one in five children in the U.S. experience some form of abuse and/or neglect in their lifetime. The Routt County community is no exception, with approximately 80 cases of serious child abuse investigated each year. Out of 22 judicial districts in Colorado, Routt County is one of four that does not yet have a CAC. Communities across the country use a CAC because it provides child-victims and their families with a safe, friendly space for one forensic interview and medical exam to occur, and immediate access to resources and referrals for the entire family.

Brighter World Child Advocacy Center will open its doors July 1, 2021. The new center is located at 465 Anglers Dr. in Steamboat Springs. Organizers have reached $265,000 of a $350,000 fundraising goal that will support center renovations and operating expenses.

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