MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice has awarded more than $2 million to Child Advocacy Centers across the state. Child Advocacy Centers are non-profit organizations that help abused and neglected children.

These grants are targeted for investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases through advocacy, education, forensic interviews, evaluations, and referrals.

Executive Director of the Monongalia County facility, Dr. Laura Capage says she and her staff try to ease the consequences of ACES- Adverse Childhood Experiences. Research has shown ACES can limit healthy development in adolescence and adulthood.

“We do something called a forensic interview where kids can come to our child friendly and safe center, it’s very bright and cheerful, where kids can talk about their experiences,” Capage said.

The interviews are observed by prosecutors and investigators who gather evidence.

Capage adds that clients pay no out-of-pocket expense for the services.

“Nobody ever has to pay anything out of pocket for our services and if you think of how expensive health care is, we don’t want money to be a barrier to kids getting the help and support they need,” she said.

Monongalia County gets $82,984, Marion County will get $81,247 and Harrison, Doddridge, Taylor and Barbour counties will share $123,511.

Capage said in Monongalia County there are about 300 cases annually.