Driven by compassion and a clear vision for the future, Dr. Robert Heyl, a dedicated local physician, recognized the profound trauma experienced by abused children — a trauma compounded by the daunting requirement to recount their painful experiences to multiple organizations, often in impersonal settings. Inspired to create a haven that prioritized the well-being and dignity of these young individuals, Dr. Heyl looked to the pioneering Child Advocacy Center model established in Huntsville, Alabama, envisioning a similar sanctuary within our community.
In 1993, this vision was brought to life through a collaborative endeavor that united the expertise of the Montezuma County Child Protection Team with the advocacy of the Montelores Mental Health Association. Supported by the generous contributions of local businesses and the unwavering commitment of concerned citizens, the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center emerged as a beacon of hope and healing. It stands today as a testament to what a community can achieve when it comes together to protect and empower its most vulnerable members.
What is a Child Advocacy Center?
A Child Advocacy Center serves as a dedicated hub where the combined efforts of multidisciplinary professionals—spanning law enforcement, child protective services, legal prosecution, victim support services, and medical and mental health experts—converge to respond to allegations of child abuse. By facilitating a unified approach to the investigation, healing, and legal proceedings, these centers place the welfare of the child at the forefront of their mission.
Those who partner with Child Advocacy Centers reap numerous advantages. The response to child abuse allegations becomes swifter, medical referrals are streamlined, and the distressing need for children to undergo multiple interviews is minimized. Moreover, such collaborative environments have been shown to enhance the success rates of legal prosecutions while offering consistent, compassionate support to child survivors and their non-offending family members throughout the entire process.
Autobiography: I relocated to Cortez from Missouri in August 2008 to take the position of Executive Director to Four Corners Child Advocacy Center. I spent the previous 15 years advocating for children in various capacities; most recently consulting with the Missouri Network of Child Advocacy Centers. I come to the Child Advocacy Center enthusiastic about effecting change for abused and neglected children in the Four Corners area. I am responsible for all administrative activities and program development. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about the center.
Rachel Heberle, Child Therapist
Autobiography: I relocated from Winchester, Virginia in March of 2014. What lead me to the Four Corners area is the proximity and abundance of outdoor activities. I live in Durango and love that I can be hiking, biking, skiing, and kayaking in a matter of minutes. I started with the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center in August 2014 and am their Therapist. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and I am certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(TF-CBT,) EMDR, and Equine Therapy. In 2002 I received my Master’s degree in Community Counseling as well as an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S,) from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I also have a degree in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. My art background has allowed me to use art as a medium for children who have a difficult time expressing themselves verbally.
Lacey Osterloh, Forensic Interview Director
Autobiography: I grew up in Cortez, and have lived in the Four Corners area my entire life. I joined the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center team in July of 2020 as the Child & Family Advocate. I’m really excited to be part of such a great organization! I have a background in adult advocacy, and I’m pursuing a degree in psychology. When I’m not working I can usually be found spending time with my family, reading, making art, or spending time in nature. I’m looking forward to connecting with families in a meaningful way, and helping to facilitate the path toward healing.
Liz Filas, Child Therapist
Autobiography: I have lived in Colorado since 2014, moving to the Four Corners Region in 2016. I am originally from Illinois, growing up in the Chicagoland area. I am an avid hiker, and was fortunate to complete the Colorado Trail during the summer of 2020. I have worked with children and adults in variety of settings and am excited to part of this team. As a therapist with The Four Corners Child Advocacy Center, I not only work with children who are experiencing trauma but also those displaying problematic sexual behavior. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and look forward to further serving this community in this role.
Wendy Anderson, Child & Family Advocate
Autobiography: I grew up in Cortez and have lived most of my life in the area. I joined the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center in 2021. I provide a listening ear to help families and children find calmness in their journey toward justice and healing. I love being part of such an incredible team! When I’m not working I can be found hanging out with my husband and our four children. My favorite hobbies are hiking, paddle boarding, gardening, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Our Board Members
Multi-Disciplinary Team Partners:
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Four Corners Child Advocacy Center
118 N. Chestnut St. | Cortez, CO 81321 Email Us | (970) 565-8155