The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Tennessee (CACTN) is a statewide membership organization dedicated to helping communities, through local child advocacy centers, respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first. CACTN strongly believes that the combined professional wisdom and skill of the multidisciplinary team approach results in a more complete understanding of case issues and the most effective child and family focused system response possible.
To promote, assist, and support development, growth, and sustainability of Child Advocacy Centers in their service to at risk, abused and neglected children and their families.
For additional information regarding how this mission is accomplished, please review our 2015-2018 strategic plan CACTN-Strategic-Plan-Yr2-Update and our FY 16/17 Annual Report.
2017 Annual Report
Giving Matters Bravelets
Karen Jointer, Executive Director
Karen Jointer has been a social worker for over fifteen years. She earned a Master’s of Science in Social Work, with an emphasis on Management and Community Practice from the University of Tennessee.
She has served the field of social work in many capacities; beginning her career at Youth Villages serving youth in residential, group home and in-home settings. She’s worked as a Research Associate at Casey Family Services in New Haven, CT; spent five years as a Child Welfare Consultant at the Univ. of Tenn. Health Science Center; then ventured to Sunderland, England for almost a year to serve as a Principal Social Worker for the local Children’s Services.
Additionally, she has had the pleasure of serving as the Director of Social Work at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN and finally, before being hired as Executive Director for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Tennessee, she worked for the Department of Children’s Services as the Director of Community Partnerships for CPS Investigations.
Lauren West, Contracts and Grants Manager
As the Contracts and Grants Specialist, Lauren focuses on maintaining and reporting for current contracts with state, regional, and national entities, as well as pursuing additional grant opportunities for CACTN. Lauren graduated from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville with a degree in Public Relations. During her time at UTK, she concentrated on government and non-profit sectors through internships with organizations such as East Tennessee PBS as well as local political campaigns. After graduation, Lauren focused on contract work for small businesses in the Knoxville area, which furthered her appreciation and understanding of local community dynamics. Upon moving to Nashville in early 2013, she continued toward a career path in public service by acting as a program coordinator for the State of Tennessee. In September of 2014, Lauren accepted the Contracts and Grants Specialist position with the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Tennessee. In this role, she utilizes her dedication to community advancement by supporting the child advocacy centers’ mission of responding effectively to child abuse in Tennessee.
LaShonda Randolph, Training and Education Manager
As the Training and Education Manager, some of LaShonda’s responsibilities include: coordinating and managing the Connecting Children for Justice Conference, updating and maintaining the CACTN's Training Calendar and developing the New Director Mentorship Program. LaShonda brings vast experience in child welfare both in the non-profit private provider and state level sectors. Her skill set ranges from in home and residential counseling to training and event planning. Prior to joining the staff of the CACTN, she served as the Deputy Director of Parent Learning & Development for the State of TN. LaShonda has been responsible for coordinating trainings and conferences throughout the state. She is a graduate of the University of TN at Chattanooga. She currently holds a MSCJ (Master of Science in Criminal Justice) and she is one semester from completing her MBA (Master of Business Administration) with a focus in Project Management. LaShonda is also a dedicated wife and mother of three young men. She is an avid reader and enjoys cooking and entertaining family and friends. She is excited, creative and full of ideas to assist in continuing the great work that is being done by the chapter.
Hayley Bordes, Program and Services Development Coordinator
As the Program and Services Development Coordinator, Hayley works to ensure the establishment and delivery of a quality improvement process that supports National Children's Alliance Accreditation Standards and the Victims of Crime Act agency requirements, as well as providing technical assistance to Child Advocacy Centers in Tennessee. Hayley graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2008 with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. After graduating, Hayley worked five years for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services as an investigator of child abuse and neglect, and then the next four years as a forensic interviewer at a Child Advocacy Center. In May of 2017, she accepted the Program and Services Development Coordinator position with the Children's Advocacy Centers of Tennessee. In her current role, she utilizes all her past Social Work and Investigative experiences to support Tennessee Child Advocacy Centers with the fight against child abuse.
Amber Ping, Statewide Outreach Specialist
As the Statewide Outreach Specialist, Amber focuses on promoting CACTN's mission and raising awareness of local CAC services to the community, as well as assisting with marketing and statistical data collection and reporting. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, she focused on marketing and graphic design. In April of 2017, she accepted the role of Statewide Outreach Specialist. Amber is dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding child abuse that prevents far too many people from speaking out and seeking help. In her current role, she develops statewide outreach efforts that will raise awareness of child abuse and ensure victims get the support they need.