The Unzner Child Advocacy Centre in Shawnee has not been recommended for renewed accreditation for 2011, which means its state funding source is in jeopardy. An appeal is in the works by Youth and Family Resource Center, which oversees the facility.


The Unzner Child Advocacy Centre in Shawnee has not been recommended for renewed accreditation for 2011, which means its state funding source is in jeopardy. An appeal is in the works by Youth and Family Resource Center, which oversees the facility.
The Unzner Centre is accredited until Dec. 31, but without its accreditation after that, it stands to lose its $90,000 budget from the state, said Susan Morris, director of the Youth and Family Resource Center.
The Unzner Centre provides services to sexually and physically abused children, including forensic interviews, medical examinations, counseling and referrals. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners from the area also use the facility to exam adults who have been sexually assaulted.
Morris said they just found out that site visit results from August recommended the centre not be accredited through membership with the National Children’s Alliance.
“If that happens, the Unzner Centre will have no funding come Jan. 1,” she said. “That’s the worst-case scenario.”
The facility’s funding comes from the state’s Department of Human Services, which bases funding on a facility being accredited through NCA.
Morris said there are discrepancies in findings obtained from the site visit along with other findings that “aren’t true,” that could be affecting the review.
“We’re in the process of appealing,” Morris said Friday, adding some information in the evaluation form also is incorrect and can be proven that it is incorrect.
Morris also said there also wasn’t an “exit interview” with her by the reviewers, who were here from Indiana and South Carolina.
While the appeal is in the works, the center continues to run normally, at least until Dec. 31. If the accreditation isn’t achieved by then, the center would need funding from another source to continue operations, so Morris said they are looking at all options at this point.
Morris said the Youth and Family board discussed this matter at its recent meeting and members are writing a letter in support of the appeal.
Since July, Morris said there’s been seven to eight children examined at the facility. On average, she said there’s also about two children interviewed there each week.
The Unzner Centre opened in 1995 and has been accredited the past nine years, Morris said.
Watch for updates.