About Us


Our Vision

Every child deserves a safe, healthy childhood free from harm.

Our Mission

To prevent harm, protect children and heal families through best practice programs and community collaboration.

Our Core Values

We make decisions with CARE:

Collaboration: We work with our community, our partners and one another to provide Child/Family-Centered services.
Accountability: We promote a culture of integrity, professionalism.
Respect: We prioritize and support/embrace inclusion, diversity, and equity as central to our work.
Excellence: We provide best practice programs with compassion and empathy.

Our Impact

We are setting the standard for the prevention and treatment of neglect and child abuse. Yearly, we teach more than 8,000 children in Buncombe County through highly interactive and research-based classes designed to educate and empower kids. When abuse occurs, we provide access with a 10 week wait list, to free, evidence-based therapies that help children heal. If you would like to learn more, contact us for more information.


Commitment to Equity

Equity Statement for Mountain Child Advocacy Center
In order to work towards a world that has a safe and secure environment for all people, we use a lens of equity, justice, and liberation in our practices.

We acknowledge the ongoing and historical impact of systemic racism and oppression and the trauma that this impact continues to have with our clients and within our community. To address trauma and violence in our therapy, prevention, and advocacy programs, we work to disrupt & dismantle systems of violence and trauma. We seek to help repair harm in places and people where it has occurred, to define healing in a holistic, culturally-centered way, to restore community.

Healing is also violence prevention. As we heal and help others heal, we are better able to prevent future harm.

Here are the specific ways we are working towards equity: At the Mountain Child Advocacy Center, we endeavor to:

Create a space of growth and change, knowing that we will always learn and do lifelong work to cultivate this space.

Continuously seek courageous dialogue, build strong relationships, and engage in reflective awareness and action-oriented practice; we do this work together in connection with one another.

Cultivate a culture among our entire organization (including our leadership, board, employees, and community partners) that prioritizes equity, engaging all stakeholders as full partners.

Consider all identities as we address equity, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship, age, religion, socioeconomic status, body size and any other identity that has an impact on someone’s lived experience.

We expect all Mountain Child Advocacy Center employees to commit to the pursuit and practice of anti-oppression leadership and LGBTQIA+ inclusion. We know that bringing different identities and perspectives to our work makes our organization, relationships, and community stronger.

We know that equity work requires continuous growth. Here are a few of the specific steps we have taken:

Created an equity team that has met weekly since October 2020.

Conducted an equity self-assessment among staff, child safety team and the board.

Engaged our staff in training specifically focused on racial equity and liberation, including Whiteness at Work by the AdAway Group, the Spiral of Transformative Change.

Created a space for regular staff equity conversations using restorative practices.

Hosted an equity training for our board members.

Integrated a new equity assessment into our intake process for clients.

Started integrating equity work and expectations into HR roles and job descriptions.

Joined the United 4 Youth Network which requires specific equity goals and data and allows for collaboration with other local organizations & school networks.

Here are our goals for the future:

Build out more funds to support bringing in outside equity consultants to work with our equity team and with our clinical staff.

Create an equity toolkit to be used at every level of our organization in planning and decision making.

Build a library of inclusive, anti-oppression books available for staff & clients.

Continue to integrate equity throughout all facets of our organization, including leadership, the board, the clinical staff, and the prevention education team.

Grow in our advocacy work at the local and state levels, particularly in regards to equity around race, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, and language.

Equity team charter: The purpose of our equity team is to design and steward a collaborative planning process that produces a race, equity, and inclusion plan and supports its implementation within the Mountain Child Advocacy Center.

We value a safe & secure environment for all children and families where their minds, bodies, and souls thrive. This includes helping to advocate for a community that centers equity and allows for the flourishing of all children.


Mountain CAC Staff

Carla Jones, Interim Executive Director [email protected]
Carla is an experienced development professional who joined the Mountain CAC team in 2018. Upon graduating from the College of Charleston, SC, in 2000, she worked in corporate operations, brand development, management, and acting in Hawaii, Los Angeles, and New York City before finding her calling in non-profits. Raising awareness, advocacy, and funding for communities and causes continues to bring Carla joy, fulfillment, and gratification almost twenty years later. Carla's experience with nonprofits ranges from Development Director for Children in Crisis in NW Florida and 103.3 Asheville FM, Managing Director for Coyote Rep in NYC, and Special Events Coordinator for Asheville Humane Society. Her passions include cooking, the arts, live music, volunteering, and adventures in nature with her partner, Gabriel, and dog, Diesel.

Miranda Bingham, MSSW, Clinical Family Advocate [email protected] 
Miranda graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Human Development in 2015. After spending five years working with children and adolescents in different settings, she returned to school after becoming frustrated with the limits of the systems meant to serve children. She received her Master of Science in Social Work and a Trauma Treatment Certificate from the University of Tennessee in 2022. Miranda brings a passion for wraparound care to the families served by our organization. She is stubborn in her pursuit of resources and services for children, teens, and families who have been impacted by abuse, neglect, and other injustices. Outside of work, Miranda enjoys outdoor gardening in the summer and hydroponic gardening in the colder months, hiking with her husband and dog, Moxie, and watching comedies.

Kristin Ledford, Family Advocate [email protected]  
Kristin started as the first Family Advocate for Mountain CAC in 2016. After moving to another city for a few years, she is back doing what she loves. Kristin got involved in advocacy and crisis work in college and has almost ten years of experience working with children and their families. In her free time, Kristin enjoys cooking, reading, biking, and spending time with her husband, dog, and loved ones.

Xia Bell M.S., LCMHC, LCAS-A, NCC, Part-Time Therapist [email protected]
Xia has provided therapy to children, adolescents, and their families for eight years. Trained in TFCBT, EMDR, SMART, BAT, Ecopsychology, and Triple P. Xia is inspired by seeing her clients grow over the course of their therapy and by seeing changes in family systems. Xia is also trained in Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and Alternatives For Families, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AFCBT).

Andrea Biffle, LCSW, Full-Time Therapist Andrea Biffle [email protected] 
Andrea is one of the newer members of the MCAC team, joining in 2021. She received her Masters’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and supported children and families for nearly 30 years. Andrea’s specializations include services to children under the age of 7, foster care/adoption, and attachment-based work. She is rostered with the NC Child Treatment Program in both Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Andrea will also begin providing Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) to young children and their families. She enjoys spinning classes, gentle yoga, and occasional Netflix binges.

Betsy Hurd, MSW, LCSW, Full-Time Therapist [email protected]
Betsy Hurd, LCSW, has over sixteen years of experience working with adults, children, adolescents, and families. She began to specialize in treating people who have experienced traumatic events in 2011 and has maintained that focus ever since. Betsy also specializes in culturally relevant therapy for the Latiné and LGBTQIA+ populations using TF-CBT, ART, and Triple P. In addition, she works with parents who want to learn new parenting skills so they can improve their relationships with their children.

Heidi B. Kixmiller, MSW, LCSW, Full-Time Therapist [email protected]
Heidi has over 15 years of experience working in community mental health in Western North Carolina. She has a Masters’s Degree in Social Work from Appalachian State University. Her passion is working with children, adolescents, and families involved in the Juvenile Justice system. For the last 12 years, she has focused her efforts on collaborating with adolescents with problem sexual behavior and their families to support them in maintaining healthy and safe lives within the community. She was rostered in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) in 2013 through the North Carolina Child Treatment Program. She works with children aged 8-18, young adults, and their families and especially loves educating community stakeholders on how to support children and adolescents who have experienced trauma and present with problem sexual behavior. Heidi is originally from Charlotte, NC, but has spent the latter part of her life jumping mountain ranges and nurturing her ultimate passion for snowboarding.   She feels most at home in the mountains, where she raises her daughter. She loves paddle boarding, dancing, hanging with friends and family, and growing plants and flowers. 

Flor de Maria Sanchez, MA, NCC, LCMHC-A,  Contract Therapist, [email protected]

Sara Taylor, MA, LPC, Contract Therapist, [email protected]

Colleen Burnet, BSW, Community Prevention Educator [email protected]
For over 30 years, Colleen has worked to support parents and young children with various challenges. Colleen spent much of her career as an Infant Toddler Family Specialist and Early Interventionist. She enjoys parenting and is the mother of 2 young adult daughters. As a Community Educator, Colleen is passionate about empowering caregivers to give children safe and healthy childhoods. Colleen believes in the importance of upstream prevention work and adults' critical role in protecting children from Sexual Abuse. Colleen is a facilitator for Circle of Security, a parenting model that empowers caregivers to develop secure attachments with their children to support healthy relationships. Colleen also is a facilitator and instructor of the Darkness to Light- Stewards of Children training. Colleen presents training on Recognizing and Reporting Abuse to schools and community groups, educating on the signs of child abuse, the responsibilities of adults in the care of children, and laws around reporting suspicions of child abuse in NC. 


Board of Directors

Kellye Bradshaw, BS, MAC, JD Board Chair, Attorney, Retired

Kyla Boyles, Vice Chair, Care Partners

Donald Swaby, Treasurer, Lt. Col., USMC, Retired, Financial Advisor

Leslie Hansen, Secretary, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Glenda Bailey, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Bryan Boone, Servis First Bank

Debby Burchfield, Juvenile Justice, Retired

Shannon Christy, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Jessica Galimore, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Lynn Kieffer, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Mari Mullen, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Doug Piercy, Martin Supply

Kim Plemmons, Buncombe County Board of Education

Kathy Redmond, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Callie Stingel, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer


Cindy Brown, MD

Becky Brown

Van Duncan, Sheriff

David Graham, MD

Olson Huff, MD

Amy Pichard

Maureen Scullin

Jack Teague, DDS

Angela Zarrella


About the History of the Mountain Child Advocacy Center:
Our organization began in 1989 as the WNC Regional Child Abuse Center, where we began serving the children and families who had experienced neglect/abuse in Buncombe County. It was a multi-agency effort with a mission to reduce child abuse incidents while providing a home-like setting. There, the abused children could receive a forensic interview and medical exam in a child-friendly and trauma-informed setting. Over the years, the organization has gone through changes in its name, mission, and programs. First as WNC Child Advocacy and Prevention, and then to Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS), Inc. in 2004. Then in 2016, CAPS transformed into an accredited Child Advocacy Center (CAC) and took its place as a cornerstone agency that provided education, prevention, advocacy, and intervention services for abused children in Buncombe County. Today, our organization’s name is the Mountain Child Advocacy Center. It functions as a hub for services provided to children and families experiencing neglect and abuse. Housed in the Mission Children's Hospital, we work together with the Child Safety Team (CST) to provide a full array of CAC services to Buncombe County. CST provides forensic interviews and has two board-certified Child Abuse Pediatricians who administer child medical exams. We also provide service at the newly formed Family Justice Center of Buncombe County. Working side by side with many community partners has given us the opportunity to build the safest and most responsive community possible.