Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Quarterly Newsletter
The Director’s Desk
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the ACCARDV newsletter! We are excited about introducing the Commission staff and keeping all of our partners up to date on all that we are doing at the Commission.
As we all know, child abuse, sexual assaults, and domestic violence are all tied together in many ways. By providing prevention education and services for domestic violence, we can potentially lower the incidents of child abuse and sexual assaults. By improving our child welfare system through our Ombudsman Office, we can hopefully reduce the recidivism in dependency-neglect cases and strengthen our families.
Our goal for our child welfare, sexual assault prevention, and domestic violence prevention divisions is to bring awareness, education, and services to our state and support those personally affected by these issues. We also want to do all we can to help those serving their communities through educational programs, crisiscenters, and preventive services around Arkansas. Thank you for partnering with ACCARDV as we strive to better our child welfare system and prevent child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence throughout our state and communities.
ACCARDV Mission Statement
To enhance the investigation, prosecution, treatment, support and prevention on cases of child abuse, rape, and domestic violence. We hope that our services will help you educate and protect those whose lives are affected by these destructive realities, and replace confusion with clarity of purpose. The Commission’s purpose and membership were further defined in Act 1336, passed by the State Legislature in 1995. This comprehensive group is made up of representatives from various agencies, professions or groups, and service providers including law enforcement, medicine, and mental health.
NAME: Candy Garland
HOMETOWN: Hot Springs
FAMILY: April (wife) & Kandice (daughter)
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE: Departmental Business Administrator
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT UAMS? 23 years
AWAY FROM WORK? I love to fish. cook, watch football and Lifetime movies.
WHAT SPARKS JOY IN YOUR LIFE? A good laugh! Spending time with family and friends, and helping others whenever I can.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION? Anywhere near water and has good food.
Name: Sherry Williamson
HOMETOWN: Glenwood, AR
FAMILY: Deb (wife) Silas, Finn & Jasper (sons)
ROLE: Child Abuse Project Coordinator
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT UAMS? 20 years
AWAY FROM WORK? You can usually find me making art in my studio, on my couch with a good book, doing yoga, or spending time with my friends & family.
WHAT SPARKS JOY IN YOUR LIFE? Using my art to encourage empathy & meaningful conversation, inspire creativity in others and celebrate my perfectly imperfect life & experiences.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION? We took the boys to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando a few years ago & made some of the very best memories I have.
NAME: Sara Rudolph-Pollard
HOMETOWN: Louisville, KY
FAMILY: Anderson Pollard Sr. (son) & 6 beautiful grandchildren
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE: Domestic Violence Project Coordinator
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT UAMS? 9 years
AWAY FROM WORK? I spend time with my grandchildren & travel
WHAT SPARKS JOY IN YOUR LIFE? My grandchildren & traveling
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION? My favorite vacations were to Belize, Ghana, South Africa, and Cuba
NAME: Laura Robertson
HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado
FAMILY: Married to Jim and we have 3 sons, John Connor, Tucker, and Henry
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE? I am the Child Welfare Ombudsman Director and the Interim Director for ACCARDV.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT UAMS? Almost 1 year
AWAY FROM WORK? I enjoy watching my son play baseball, spending time with my family and friends, reading, cooking, and baking.
WHAT SPARKS JOY IN YOUR LIFE? Attending Razorback baseball games with my boys, going to the beach with my family, going to the farm with my husband, and spending a great evening with friends.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION? The beach, any beach, anytime of the year.
NAME: Sam Siegel
FAMILY: McKenna (wife)
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE: Rape Prevention Coordinator
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT UAMS? 2 weeks
AWAY FROM WORK? I love to cook, play board games, watch movies, and spend time with friends
WHAT SPARKS JOY IN YOUR LIFE? Making others laugh, helping people, and dessert
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION? My honeymoon in Scotland
Arkansas DV Statshttps://www.domesticpeace.com/copy-of-2019-domestic-violence-homicides (12/03/2021)
55 total deaths to date:
32 women, 17 men, 6 children
26 intimate partner violence
The Child Welfare Ombudsman Division
The Child Welfare Ombudsman division is an independent and impartial agency that is housed within the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence. The Child Welfare Ombudsman Division was created to work independently from other child welfare agencies in the state of Arkansas. The Ombudsman reviews issues and concerns related to the court case or the investigation involving a child when assistance is requested by the child, the parent of the child, the foster parent of the child, or relative or fictive kin of the child. The Ombudsman also has the duty to review and recommend necessary changes to improve the policies and procedures within the child welfare system of Arkansas and to make sure every child being served by the child welfare system is aware of their legal rights under the law.
The majority of the 9,960 victim children in true investigations were involved in allegations of neglect (71%), followed by allegations of physical abuse and sexual abuse (19% each).Arkansas DCFS Annual Report Card SFY 2021
A Word from the Commission Chair
Dr. Karen Worley
Welcome to the inaugural ACCARDV newsletter! This represents an effort to educate commissioners, partner agencies, and the community about the good works of the commission on behalf of child abuse, rape, and domestic violence. Many thanks to commissioners for committing to committee work as we support and develop projects in these areas. I appreciate the breadth and depth of knowledge of the ACCARDV commissioners and look forward to working with you all.
Lisa Channell – State Crime Lab-Retired
Cristy Sellers – ADH
Carol Maxwell – AR Hospital Association
Mischa Martin – DCFS
Dr. Karen Farst – Child Abuse
Dr. Karen Worley – Mental Health Professional
Judge Blake Batson – Judge
Suzanne Lumpkin – Defense Attorney
John Threet – Judge
Heather McKim – Attorney General’s Office
Sheriff Scott Sawyer – Law Enforcement
Jimmy Turnbow – Attorney ad Litem
Nathan Smith – Prosecuting Attorney Assoc.
Dorinda Edmisten – Rape Crisis Program
Courtney Leach – Disabilities
Gracie Giles Gonner – Domestic Violence
Tess Fletcher – CASA
Elizabeth Pulley – Member at Large
Laura Abbot – Member at Large
Dr. Sufna John – Member at Large
Major Jeffery Drew – Arkansas State Police
Melanie Mata – Human Trafficking
Quarterly Holidays and Observances
1/1 – New Year’s Day (office closed)
1/17 – Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (office closed
2/1 – First Day of Black History Month
2/21 – President’s Day/George Washington’s Day (office closed)