JERSEYVILLE - The Unified Child Advocacy Network (UCAN) celebrated the grand opening of their new Jerseyville location, 122 West Pearl Street, with a ribbon cutting on Thursday afternoon.

Sharon Clagg, Executive Director of UCAN, said the organization sets out serve, protect and advocate for children affected by sexual and physical abuse while also educating the community. By providing free counseling to the children and the family, UCAN works with various agencies to serve children in need.

With offices located in Calhoun, Greene, Macoupin and Montgomery counties, Clagg said it's important to for the organization to be spread throughout the area to best help children and their families.

"The kids that come in are usually from Greene, Calhoun and Jersey Counties," Clagg said. "This is a closer venue for those who need to get here. We are right next to the courthouse, we are down the street from the sheriff's office and DCFS is in our back parking lot. It's just a very central location to for us to be able to serve people that need us."

In addition to the new location, the Unified Child Advocacy Network is excited to announce their new therapy dog, Clara. Clagg said the three-month-old Pyranese puppy will begin therapy classes in the next couple of months and will be able to aide children through counsel sessions and even go to the stand with them being a constant source of support.

Clagg said the Unified Child Advocacy Network wouldn't be what it is today if weren't for the tremendous support from the surrounding communities. "We have an excellent support base," Clagg added. "Which helps pull in that positive support from the community."

For more information on the Unified Child Advocacy Network visit there website, their Facebook page or call 618-494-6430.

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