Karla Tye-Rotary Club of Jackson member and Executive Director, Children's Advocacy Centers of MS

The RCJ was pleased to welcome fellow Rotarian and Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi, Karla Tye.


The invocation was given by Jim Warren. The pledge of allegiance was led by Ted Jackson and the Four Way Test was led by Neddie Winters.  Tony Webb warmly greeted our visiting Rotarians and guests.


Seated at the head table included Howard Catchings of Catchings Insurance, Erica Reed of the Jackson Medical Mall, George Gammon of State Bank and Trust and Mark Fields of Woodmark Investments, who introduced our speaker.


Erica Reed discussed the Canopy Children’s Christmas Party being held December 20, 2018 at 5:30pm.  The committee will be shopping for gifts on December 17th and wrapping the gifts at the home of Robby Toombs on December 19th.  Additionally, the Nursing home gift assembly will be held December 10th at 10:30 prior to the regular Rotary Club meeting and the parties will take place December 11th, beginning at 10am.  For further details, please contact Erica at 601-500-1320.  Volunteers are needed for both events.


In the event you need a name tag, please email Amy at jrotary@bellsouth.net.  New nametags will be ordered soon.


During our December 10th meeting, we will be “passing the hat” for our Belhaven service team that serves our lunches each week.  This is an opportunity to show your appreciation for the work they do each week during our programs.


The 2019/2020 Directors and Officers will be elected during our December 10th meeting.  The current slate of nominees is:

·         Janet Scott, current President-Elect for President

·         Leroy Walker for President-Elect/Vice President

·         Bill Blackwell-BOD (Board of Directors)

·         Allan Cole-BOD

·         George Gammon-BOD

·         Sandra Shelson-BOD

·         Selena Swartzfager-BOD

·         Becky White-BOD



The Rotary Raffle ends next week.  Please see a member of the Raffle committee to purchase tickets or turn in your money.


Karla Steckler Tye serves as the Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi.  She has over 18 years of experience as a clinician and child advocate. In her current role, she oversees all operations of the organization including leadership and support on a statewide level to provide services to children who have been victims of child abuse and children who have witnessed a violent crime. 

Early in her career, Karla became committed to addressing child maltreatment while working with the Coastal Children’s Advocacy Center in Savannah, Georgia. Upon returning to her home state of Mississippi in 2004, she became the director of three child advocacy centers™ in South Mississippi. Karla later went on to work with the Mississippi Department of Human Services as the Director of Field Operations for Family and Children’s Services and later as the Department of Human Services Legislative Liaison.


Karla has taken a leadership role in the training of future child protection professionals by improving education at the undergraduate and graduate level.  Karla has received state and national recognition for her work. In 2017, she received an award from Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center for her work to improve training on the undergraduate and graduate level around Child Advocacy Studies.  Karla graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1999 with a Masters of Science in Art Therapy and received the program’s highest award for clinical, academic and research excellence. 


Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi-working together to defeat child abuse.  Karla began her presentation with facts about the prevelance of child abuse in the United States.

·         Approximately 1 million children are confirmed cases of abuse or neglect each year

·         Approximately 2000 children die from abuse or neglect each year

·         Lifetime cost of just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment in $124 billion

·         The rate of child abuse is 10 times the rate of cancer

·         In FY 2016/2017, Hinds County investigated 2028 cases of child abus and neglect. 435 were evidenced.

·         In FY 206/2017 41 children died from abuse and neglect in Mississippi

·         As of November 1, 2018 there were 5044 children in MDCPS custody-412 in Hinds County.

·         1 of 5 girls and 1 of 7 boys will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday.


Karla presented facts which showed the negative health consequences of adverse childhood experiences.  “Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today”.


Children’s Advocacy Centers aim to put the needs of the child first and bring all services under one umbrella.  By bringing together many disciplines, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental/medical health, victim advocacy, child advocacy, they aim to work together to conduct interviews and make team decision about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases.


The benefits of Child Advocacy Centers is:

·         Felony prosecution increases in communities that have CACs.

·         Faster decision times to charge criminal with crimes against children

·         Defendants of convicted sex crimes were sentenced to longer prison terms

·         Children receive more specialized medical exams and mental health services

·         $1000 cost savings per case using CACs


Child Advocacy Studies Training (CAST) is a nationally recognized curriculum to train students how to effectively address child abuse and neglect in real world applications through Multidisciplinary Team coordination. Successful completion of these courses will enable students to identify child abuse and neglect, report child maltreatment appropriately, and become a viable community team member in the prevention and remediation of child maltreatment. The current Multidisciplinary Team approach to family/victim advocacy, forensic interviews, investigations, service provision, prevention, community education and prosecutions is actively modeled in skill building activities throughout the courses. Child maltreatment and other adverse childhood experiences have been shown to adversely affect human development, which adds to a host of societal problems. The CAST program's goal is to work with our community as a whole to eradicate child maltreatment in the years to come.


What can you do?  If you suspect it, report it (1-800-222-8000).  Support Child Advocacy Centers of Mississippi and ensure that there are sound policies at youth-serving organizations and churches.