Author: Jim Newton

The Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center celebrated its 30th anniversary Wednesday with the formal opening of a new healing garden, designed to help comfort child victims and their parents at the center.

Last year, more than 700 cases of child abuse or neglect were reported to law enforcement authorities in Lake County.

The Children’s Advocacy Center’s Friends Committee and more than 400 Lake County residents contributed to completing the construction of the healing garden, with contributions including donations from the Chicago Bears Hometown Huddle through United Way of Lake County.

Officials said it is hoped the healing garden will provide an opportunity for child victims to alleviate the trauma they have undergone, as well as to find a reflective space. Created with a small playground, a butterfly garden, an arbor area and a water feature, one of the garden’s purposes is to serve as a waiting area for parents, children, guardians and staff while abuse victims are being interviewed.

Mitchell, one of the State’s Attorney’s Office comfort/service dogs, will often be present at the garden as well. Carrie Flanigan, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center, said the garden’s theme is, “To plant a seed is to believe in tomorrow,” designed as a message to both the center’s clients and the community as a whole.

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