Children's Advocacy Center Director and County Commissioner Speaks to Lock Haven Students Alongside K-9 Companion

Lock Haven


During the spring semester, Dr. Mary Tatum from the Children's Advocacy Center of Clearfield traveled to Commonwealth University-Lock Haven to present in Dr. Michael J. McSkimming's victimology class in Akeley Hall alongside her K-9 companion, "Kirby."

Tatum, who also serves as a Clearfield County Commissioner, earned her Doctorate of Public Administration from Capella University in 2022 and is the director of the Children's Advocacy Center. The bulk of her presentation revolved around the importance of having a "safe place for kids who may have been abused." 

In conjunction with the Multidisciplinary Team of Clearfield County, they determine if a particular case involves abuse and requires legal intervention or is simply a matter of a family in need. "Putting the child at ease and asking the right questions becomes the important part of this," Tatum said. "With our team approach, we want to make the right decision and do what is best for the child."

The main attraction of the presentation was "Kirby" who, according to Tatum, "plays an integral role in all of this. Whether it be bringing a toy to a child at the center or sitting with an anxious boy or girl outside of the courtroom, Kirby brings that level of comfort, which promotes that concept of safety," she said.

After doing several tricks and taking a nap at the feet of a student, Kirby was kind enough to turn off the lights before leaving the room.