an independent 501(c)3
The story of The Children’s Center of Medina County began in 2005 when Mead Wilkens (former Director of Medina County Job and Family Services) and Dr. Daryl Steiner (former Medical Director Akron Children’s Hospital) came together to bring the national Child Advocacy Center (CAC) model to Medina County. First established as a Child Advocacy Center Program under Medina County Job and Family Services, the program quickly became its own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2008 and at that time was named The Children’s Center of Medina County.
The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) model was started in 1985 by Former Congressman Robert E. “Bud” Cramer (AL), who was then a District Attorney in Madison County, Alabama, who saw the need to create a better system to help abused children. The social service and the criminal justice systems, at the time, were not working together in an effective manner that children could trust, adding to the children’s emotional distress, and creating a segmented, repetitious, and often frightening experience for the child victims.
The CAC model of a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) approach, developed through the vision of Former Congressman Cramer and a group of key individuals, pulled together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protective services, and medical and mental health workers onto one coordinated team.
Today, The Children’s Center of Medina County houses not only Child Advocacy Center services but also Family Visitation Center services, and Anti-Human Trafficking Services.
Rhonda Wurgler, MPA
Rhonda Wurgler believes that every child has a right to a happy childhood, especially a childhood without abuse. Throughout her career, Rhonda has been working to achieve that goal. Her early career history includes working as a Deputy Sheriff and as a Volunteer Firefighter. As Executive Director of The Children’s Center of Medina County Rhonda has been instrumental in launching and facilitating The Children’s Center obtaining status as a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center and moving to a larger building allowing for more children and families to receive essential services to heal from abuse. Rhonda is co-founder and convener of Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and Co-Chair and founder of the Trauma Informed Care Consortium through Medina County Family First Council. Appointed by the Commissioners, Rhonda recently served on the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Northeast Ohio Regional Child Abuse Prevention Council. She is currently a Board of Education Member for Cloverleaf Local Schools, Board Member for Leadership Medina County and is a member of the Medina County Family First Council. In addition, Rhonda’s current list of community organizations with which she is involved includes, 100 Plus Women Who Care, Medina Evening Kiwanis, and the Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio.
Amy Kerr, LSW
Forensic Interviewer/Case Coordinator
Our Forensic Interviewer conducts specialized interviews of children who report abuse. The goal of the forensic interview is to gather pertinent information from the child in a neutral, non-leading, and developmentally sensitive manner to determine the child’s safety. As Case Coordinator coordination occurs among the various systems, (law enforcement, child protective services, medical, and prosecutor’s office) to schedule forensic interviews and medical evaluations of suspected child sexual abuse.
Amy graduated from Ashland College with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Minor in Criminal Justice. After graduation, she worked as an Ongoing Social Worker with Richland County Children’s Services Board and as an Intake Social Worker with the Medina County Job & Family Services, where she was also a foster parent.
Amy is also a graduate of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Police Academy in Columbus and from the Northwestern University Traffic Institute/Harley-Davidson Motor Company Inc. in Okaloosa County, Florida. She is a Retired Detective from Medina City Police Department. Amy handled Missing Person cases, was a Hostage Negotiator with the SWAT team, a Motor Officer and investigated crimes against women and children, in addition to other felony offenses.
She was a Coroner Investigator for Medina County and worked in the Medina Law Department. Amy is presently a Forensic Interviewer with The Children’s Center of Medina County and a Licensed Social Worker with the State of Ohio.
Victim Services Coordinator/Family Advocate
The Victim Services Coordinator provides support and coordination of all victim services. This position is essential in providing and maintaining a safe, comfortable and child friendly environment for all victims and families. Serves as an advocate and liaison with the community and investigating agencies to help them tailor their investigation to the needs of the family. Maintains supportive contact with families from case initiation through possible adjudication involving issues of child sexual and physical abuse. Acts as an advocate for child victim and non-offending family members. Provides information to the families and assists families in obtaining services needed. Works closely with anyone involved with the case.
Human Anti-Trafficking Coordinator/Family Advocate
The Human Anti-Trafficking Coordinator is responsible for the coordination of the Medina County Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the development and leadership of a strong local anti-trafficking coalition. The Family Advocate is committed to helping and educating each family about abuse and the complex systems that a family enters when a child makes an allegation of abuse. As each case goes through the investigation, prosecution and healing process, the Family Advocate is there to help the family understand the process, learn about their rights and successfully access resources that will help their family.
Director of Development
The Director of Development is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of CCMC’s fundraising efforts including major gifts, annual fund, planned giving, special events and capital campaigns. This position is responsible for establishing objectives, strategies and standards to achieve CCMC’s financial development goals. The Director works closely with The Executive Director and the Board of Directors in all development and fund-raising endeavors.
Community Outreach Coordinator
The Community Outreach Coordinator is responsible for engaging and educating the community about the mission of The Children’s Center of Medina County (CCMC). Additionally, the Community Outreach Coordinator develops community partnerships, plans and coordinates events, and is responsible for the marketing and communications of CCMC to our stakeholders.
- Gina Betti
- Lora Dumperth
- Pam Flora
Board of Directors
- Allison Allen
- Elizabeth Bux
- Joseph Chubb
- Tonia Fisher
- Terry Grice
- Amanda Hansen
- Lisa Keltz
- Ed Kinney
- Kimberly Marshall
- Diane Lynne Meckes
- Jill Michalski
- Joan Pritchett
- Kristine Quallich
- Michelle Reese
- Ronald Stollar