Child Advocacy

From the sidelines and into the game

High school football is big here in South Texas and I am a big fan. One of the highlights of my year is attending the Texas state play-offs. Held at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, home of the Dallas Cowboys, this is a huge four-day event. It matches up the best high school teams from all over Texas to compete for the state title in their respective school-size category. And we, their fans, are there to support these outstanding teams.

The fans include families, fellow students, school bands, cheerleaders and football fanatics like myself who root for them to do their best. But no matter what happens on the field, we, the fans, are in the stands. We can’t affect the outcome on the field. That is up to the team members. No one else. As a fan, this can be heart wrenching. You want to get down there and help but you can’t. Only the team members can help each other.

I am also a fan of child advocacy. Child Advocacy is a growing movement of professional specialists who intercede and advocate for children who have experienced horrific events. As a father and community youth volunteer, my heart has always ached when I learned of children in appalling situations of child abuse, exploitation, and sex trafficking. A few years ago, my company was asked if our interview room recording system could help Child Advocacy Center (CAC) Forensic Interviewers video record their interviews with children. There was no other answer but yes! At that moment, I and my staff joined the team, the child advocacy team.

Advocating for hurting children takes a team. The child advocacy team is like a good football team. It has members with different roles and specialties who come together to positively change the outcome of hurting children. On this team, our company’s role is to provide a specialized technology and be a fanatic supporter of the CAC movement.

Our system, V2 Interview Room Recording, was originally created to record custodial interviews for law enforcement agencies. However, because our company had developed V2, our development team was able to customize V2 to meet CACs’ specific requirements. Thus, a CAC focused interview room recording system was crafted and V2 Advocate was born. But, we have not stopped there.

We believe that a Forensic Interviewer should be able to concentrate on each individual child who has a story to tell and not on the technology of recording. So, today, with regular feedback from CACs, we continue to improve and tailor our technology to meet present and future forensic interview recording needs. Needs that include keeping up with the ever-changing government and legal requirements, constantly improving the ease of use, and incorporating new technology advances like recent innovations in IP and HD cameras.

Setting aside technology for a moment, our role as a fanatic supporter of the CAC movement is also important to us. Our company has been supporting CAC state chapter meetings for several years and this year we also became a National Children’s Alliance (NCA) National Gold Partner.

When we learned of this opportunity to become a National Gold Partner, we were pleased and excited. We know that through supporting the NCA we are a part of the national team effort. We are so impressed with the NCA team. They strengthen local communities’ response to allegations of child abuse by providing resources for community education and professional training. Their incredible work is making a difference.

Win, lose or draw, high school football only lasts for a season. The players hang up their cleats and we, the fans, go home. Unfortunately, day to day, the need to stand up for abused and exploited children never ends. Because of this need, our company will continue to play our small roles and do our best to support the team who advocates for children.

Hope to see you on the field!

Mark Stemmermann

Click Here to learn more about the National Children’s Alliance