Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

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Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Student Uses Criminal Justice Degree to Provide Trauma-Informed Care

Garrett Allen, a 2019 graduate of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, earned an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Law Enforcement and Corrections. Allen is currently the Victim Liaison at the ChildSafe Center CAC, where he works alongside investigative agencies to protect children in suspected cases of child abuse.

Allen uses the knowledge he gained from the Criminal Justice degree program when collaborating with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in cases involving child victims. Children who receive services at the ChildSafe Center CAC are often traumatized and experiencing some of the most challenging times of their lives. Allen serves as a friendly face and advocate for these children as he guides the children and the Caregiver through the investigative process. Having received specialized training in forensic interviewing and victim advocacy, he draws on these skills with his interactions with children and non-offending caregivers. Allen also conducts Trauma Screenings and Risk Assessments to help identify those in crisis and assist them in accessing follow-up services. He then acts as the liaison with law enforcement, the families, the child, attorneys, and local resources.

Allen credits his Criminal Justice degree for his understanding of how law enforcement agencies, courts, and attorneys work individually and together to provide a multi-disciplinary team response to abuse allegations. Knowledge gained from his degree supports him in delivering a trauma-informed response as he guides victims through the process with understanding and compassion. He cites his investigations classes with teaching him the fundamentals that he needs to support and educate victims and their non-offending caregivers. Allen is proud of his Criminal Justice degree and how it helps him serve his community in a collaborative role with law enforcement.

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