First Light is where People, Children and Caring come together. First Light is a child advocacy center that provides a unique approach to the investigation of cases of abuse and neglect of children in Grant County, Blackford, Wabash, Miami and several other Indiana counties and out-of-state courtesy services.
A founding Board Member suggested the name of “First Light”. Thinking that a lighthouse is a beacon in the night guiding ships to safety on shore; children need that “light or beacon” when they are in danger and need help being brought to safety.
The Center is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization located in Grant County. First Light opened its doors February 16, 2004 and has since interviewed and served over 5000 children and families. The purpose of the facility is to provide a child-friendly atmosphere for the investigation of allegations of abuse and neglect of children.
First Light makes available a location for members of a multidisciplinary team from various locations to come together and provide a forensic interview for a child who is alleged to be a victim of abuse or neglect. The objective is to provide a quick, professional response by law enforcement, child protection services and the prosecutor’s office to a case, so the trauma to the child can be minimized and an appropriate course of action to the specific case can be handled in a child-friendly environment with the least amount of trauma to children and families.
Providing about 400 forensic interviews for children on a yearly basis, many children/families are referred for medical exams and services and mental health services referrals as well. The Center also provides almost 600 children/families with clothing, personal hygiene items, shoes, winter coats, school supplies and access to food and shelter every year.
The multidisciplinary teams working at Fight Light share a special camaraderie. This camaraderie is not just among the numerous teams in Grant County, but is also experienced outside Grant County. All of participating team members reach out to each other in and outside of their own counties. First Light has never been based on county line boundaries, but rather is about the front line heroes reaching out to help one another, all for the good of children no matter where they are located.