who we are

Our Mission

The mission of the Appalachian Children’s Center is to advocate for the safety of all children and to reduce the trauma of child abuse victims and their families.

 

Purpose

The Appalachian Children’s Center’s (ACC) purpose is to provide immediate support and assistance to child victims and their families. These services may include advocacy, crisis intervention, counseling, forensic interviews, forensic medical exams and help locating needed resources and services.
The ACC provides programs and services for children ages 3 to 17 years of age and their families where there is trauma and/or neglect or allegations of abuse and/or neglect. Additional services include individual, family and group counseling, educational opportunities, support groups for caregivers, and play therapy, parenting classes, advocacy and education.

 

The ACC is a private, non-profit, 501c3 organization. The primary service location is Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens Counties. However, the center does work with any child that has suffered trauma and/or neglect. Services are provided free of charge to any child or family in need by a referral. Non-emergency services are available Monday through Friday 9:00 AM through 6:00 PM.

Our Values

– Service – 

We provide quality and excellence in all we do.

– Love – 

We serve our families, children, and youth with care and passion.

– Integrity –

We work to build relationships built on trust and mutual respect.

– Hope –

We believe our clients can be more than they are today.

 

Credentials

The Appalachian Children’s Center, Inc. is fully accredited through the Children’s Advocacy Center of Georgia as well as the National Children’s Alliance. The clinical staff all has at least a master’s degree and is licensed in Georgia. The ACC utilizes Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as the cornerstone of the clinical services. This is an evidenced-based clinical program designed specifically for children who have experienced trauma.

Meet Our Team

Andrea Gibby

DIRECTOR

Karen Nash

clinical director

Karen R. Nash, LSCW  – her professional story began when she was 4 years old and in a hospital with a serious illness. In “those days” parents could not stay with their child. Visiting hours were brief – she remembers feeling alone and afraid that she would die.  Thus, the veil was lifted and the fears that a child should not know, she knew. It became very important to her to be trained to truly listen to children, especially those who were at risk.

 In 1969 she received her B.A. at Southern Illinois University.  She was awarded a White House Children’s Bureau Grant in 1970 and received a M.S. degree from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin from the School of Social Welfare in 1971.

Throughout her graduate studies and the past 53 years of practice, she has specialized in the treatment of children and family therapy. Training and work at the Milwaukee Child Psychiatry Center and employment with the Dallas Child Guidance Clinic in Texas were the beginning of her work providing child therapy and family therapy. Continued experience with abused and traumatized children prompted further training in trauma treatments such as EMDR. She began her private practice in 1977 in Irving, Texas, and continued in Georgia. In 1982, she was a consultant to an inpatient adolescent hospital. Also, she was the child and adolescent therapist at a community mental health county center.

Her work with Advocacy Centers began in 1996, where she continued to treat abused and victimized children. Her role expanded as she became the Director of Services, supervising staff and interns while still providing direct treatment. We can treat the hurt child, but to ensure future care we must also be committed to the training of future therapists and workers in the field. For seven years, she was part-time faculty at Kennesaw State University for in the Human services and Social Work Program.

Although she closed her private practice in 2022, she remains committed to providing training and supervision at the Appalachian Children’s Center.

Atura Jordan

clinician

Atura L.G. Jordan, LCSW has been a therapist with the ACC since 2015. She has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from
Dalton State College in Georgia and a Master of Social Work with an Emphasis in Trauma and Emergency Management from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee. She is an EMDR Certified Therapist and is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Synergetic Play Therapy (SPT), and Theraplay.

Juni Verser

clinician & forensic services supervisor

Juni N.G. Verser, LCSW graduated with her bachelors from University of Arizona with a degree in Journalism with minors in Pre-Law Thematic Studies and Spanish. She received her Master’s of Social Work from Simmons University with a focus in Child and Family Trauma and Medical Social Work.

She’s been working with children in mentorship roles since she was in high school and her passions transferred over to her career.

When she’s not at work, you can find her with her Husband and two girls playing games, trying new restaurants, exploring all things geeky, or planning her next travel adventure – which many times is Disney World.  If she weren’t a Social Worker, she’d be a travel agent or flight attendant.

Jennifer Poole

family advocate

Jennifer joined ACC in early 2023 as a Family Advocate.  She holds a Journalism Degree from the University of Georgia. 

 

Jennifer enjoys working to get to know families and being a support for them throughout their time in services at the ACC.  She assists caregivers in obtaining services, provides on-going support and serves as a liaison between the families and multidisciplinary team members.

Max Greyson

clinician & forensic interviewer

Max Greyson, MSW graduated from The University of North Georgia in 2017, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences and a minor in Biology. Max then went on to get his Master’s of Social Work (MSW) degree at Kennesaw State University, and graduated with his MSW in 2023. 

 

At Appalachian Children’s Center, Max works mainly in the roles of therapist and forensic interviewer. Recently, he has begun working within our School Partnership Program, providing services to students in local elementary schools. Max specializes in trauma-focused services, and has been certified in several trainings & certifications including: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, ChildFirst forensic interviewing protocol, Triple P and Darkness2Light.

Mikael Volaric

CLINICIAN & FORENSIC INTERVIEWER

Mikael Volaric, MSW is a Clinician, Advocate and Forensic Interviewer
formally trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).  Mikael began working at ACC as an intern from Kennesaw State University and was hired on full time in May 2023, when he graduated with his Master’s of Social Work degree. Now, he says he is grateful for the opportunity to work with this great team and center which embodies his values of hope, integrity, service and care.

Katelynn Davenport

intern

KateLynn received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with minors in Family Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies from Berry College. She is expected to receive her Master of Social Work degree from Kennesaw State University in May 2024.

Our Contact Details

Contact Us

Office Hours

Monday – Friday

Weekdays – After Hours

Saturday – Sunday



Therapeutic Services
& Forensic Interviews

By Appointment Only