Faulkner Law graduate fights for children as the new ANCAC executive director
Every hour of the day, a child is abused in the state of Alabama and it’s a problem the Alabama Network of Child Advocacy Centers says is growing.
That is something Katie Beth McCarthy is hoping to change.
McCarthy’s passion for children is evident in how she cares for her three sons at home, but now she will be using that same love to help children in need all over the state.
McCarthy, a graduate of Faulkner Law, was selected as the new executive director for the Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers where she will use her gifts and talents to advocate for children in abusive situations.
Over the last several years, McCarthy said she had been seeking a direction for her life and finally has found what she has been looking for.
“The last few years have been filled with doubt, fear and no small doses of rejection. But I know now why God led me through the challenges I faced,” McCarthy said.
“It was for this; a place where my education and my experiences and my passion to help child victims align perfectly; a place where I am able to use my gifts to help and serve; and a place that appreciates my strengths and believes in my abilities.”
The Alabama Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities dealing with allegations of child abuse through 33 of their centers located around Alabama.
Every 47 seconds a child is abused or neglected in the United States and more than 3 million children are subjects of at least one child abuse case each year, according to the ANCAC.
Jim Ed Clayton, the president of the ANCAC Board of Directors said McCarthy would be a perfect fit for the role to help combat such statistics.
ANCAC provide the state centers with training and technical assistance.
“Katie Beth’s previous experience with Child Advocacy Centers, as well as her education and her personal attributes, give her a rare and valuable skill set that will help her lead and grow the Network,” Clayton said.
McCarthy, who is married to Faulkner University’s head baseball coach, Patrick McCarthy, and has three sons, Miller, age 14, Andre, age 13 and Keenan, age 7, has worked with nonprofits and children for more than 10 years.
She was the director of a CAC in Tennessee for three years before moving to Montgomery, where she received her Juris Doctorate degree from Faulkner Law.
She earning her Master’s degree in counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in communication from Freed-Hardeman University and has worked with mentally challenged adults, college students and small claims court mediations.
McCarthy has taught classes at Faulkner University and Alabama Christian Academy, interned with One Place Family Justice Center in Montgomery, Tennessee’s Juvenile Court and Faulkner University’s Elder Law Clinic.
She will oversee the staffs at each of the state’s centers that together put the needs of the children in the midst of abusive situations first by providing them and their non-offending caregivers with comfort and services.
Teams at the centers also assist in the investigations and prosecution of child abuse cases.
The chair of the executive director search committee, Elizabeth Wheatley, said, “At the beginning of the search process, we knew that the new director would probably become obvious to us as we interviewed candidates, and Katie Beth McCarthy became the obvious choice.
“As a former CAC director herself, she understands how to help each center maximize our capacity to serve Alabama’s child victims.”
“I feel extremely blessed and overwhelmed by the opportunity to work closely with Alabama’s Children’s Advocacy Centers. Our CACs are a crucial component to combating child abuse,” McCarthy said.
“I’m honored to be serving these front-line workers. My goal is to increase funding and support to our existing CACs and to add more centers across the state to reach more children and families.”