As a local doctor, Dr. Robert Heyl observed the trauma abused children endured, not only from the abuse, but from their experiences of having to repeat their story over and over to multiple agencies in various locations. He had a vision of a neutral, safe, child-centered structure designed to nurture the abused child, and he discovered the child advocacy center model founded in Huntsville, Alabama.
In partnership with the Montezuma County Child Protection Team, the Montelores Mental Health Association, area businesses and concerned citizens the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center was established in 1993.
In 1995, our Center became a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center.
What is a Child Advocacy Center?
A Nurturing Environment for Safe Transitions
Child Advocacy Centers are child-focused programs in which representatives of law enforcement, social services, prosecution, victim advocacy, medical and mental health personnel jointly intervene in cases involving sexual/physical assaults and other crimes against children through investigation, treatment and prosecution.
Organizations that use Child Advocacy Centers experience many benefits: More immediate follow-up to reports of child sexual and other mistreatment, more efficient medical referrals, reduction in the number of child victim interviews, increased success in prosecution and consistent support for child victims and their non offending family members.
Rose Jergens, Executive Director
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 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 with children who have a difficult time expressing themselves verbally.
Trisha Halencak, Child & Family Advocate and Forensic Interview
Autobiography: I relocated from a small mountain town near Yosemite, California to Southwest Colorado in 2012. I joined the Child Advocacy Center as a Forensic Interviewer and Family Advocate in March of 2019. I have a background in Early Childhood Education and have taught preschool in Cortez and Dolores. I have worked for a local family resource center for the past 4 years where I have helped connect families to local resources, taught parenting classes and supported local preschool teachers in creating a classroom that encourages children’s social and emotional well-being. In my time off, I enjoy going on drives in the mountains exploring the beautiful scenery with my husband and 2 children. During the summer, my family and I go on many camping trips where cell phone service is scarce and family time is plentiful. I am looking forward to guiding families through the healing process.
Lacey Osterloh, Child & Family Advocate
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.
Sharon King, Administrative Assistant & Bookkeeper
Autobiography: I am originally from Louisiana and moved to Colorado in 1990. Since moving to Colorado I have lived all over the state but kept moving to areas that were warmer. That brought me to the Four Corners in 1994 and I have raised three lovely girls right here in Montezuma County. I am involved as a volunteer in food security and love buying from our local agricultural producers. When I am not working I am enjoying the great outdoors. My happiness is a direct result of the full-throttle sun. I am thrilled to be working at the Child Advocacy Center as the Office Manager and a part-time Child Advocate.
Wendy Anderson, Outreach Coordinator
Autobiography: I grew up in Cortez and have lived most of my life in the area. I work as the Outreach Coordinator. I help the board with fundraisers, social media, Thank you’s, Quilts for Kids, and anything else that is needed. I’m excited to be part of such a great cause and to help the children in our community! When I am not working I can be found hanging out with my husband and our four children. My favorite hobbies are hiking, boating, paddle boarding, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Our Board Members
2021 Board of Directors
Dr. Bob Heyl
Retired School Teacher
Multi-Disciplinary Team Partners:
- Cortez Police Department
- Montezuma County Sheriff’s Department
- Dolores County Sheriff’s Department
- Mancos Marshal
- Montezuma County Division of Social Services
- Dolores County Division of Social Services
The District Attorney’s Office
- 22nd Judicial District
- Victim’s Witness Unit
- Dr. Whitney Pack
Mental Health Professionals
- Rachel Heberle
- Liz Filas