The Child Center, Inc. honored two winners of its Champion for Children Award at the 14th Annual Midwest Justice for Children Conference. The award recognizes the efforts of individuals who have made exceptional contributions in promoting the health and well-being of children and families.

The first Champion for Children Award went to Detective Russ McDermott from the O’Fallon Police Department. Det. McDermott serves as a member of the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) that helps children when they come to The Child Center, Inc. “Part of what makes Russ so wonderful is that he also provides an exceptional level of kindness, honesty, and compassion to every child and family he works with. These genuine attributes make a positive impact on victims helping them to feel heard, making them feel valued, and allowing them to have hope that justice may be served on their behalf.” Michelle Stille, Forensic Interviewer for The Child Center, Inc. said during the award ceremony.

Mary Hill with Children’s Division was the second awardee of the Champion for Children Award. Mary also serves as a member of the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) and was nominated by several of her peers. Amy Robins, Supervisor of Forensic Services at The Child Center, Inc. said, “Mary has made it her mission to educate others about problematic sexual behaviors and put the necessary supports and resources available in place to ensure child victims and children with problematic sexual behaviors get the rehabilitative services they need to live happy, healthy lives. Without passion like hers, some of these cases don’t get the attention they need and this sometimes results in victims not being heard or getting the appropriate services they need for a healthy future.”   The Child Center, Inc. (TCC) is a child advocacy center (CAC) serving children and families in Northeast Missouri. A comprehensive, coordinated approach is taken in response to allegations of child sexual and physical abuse occurring in their 14 county service area. The primary goal of The Child Center, Inc., is to ensure that children disclosing abuse are not further victimized by the intervention systems designed to protect them. Hosting the Midwest Justice for Children Conference is just one way TCC educates members of the community on the effects of child abuse and prevention efforts.