About Us

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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.

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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.

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Mountain CAC Staff

Geoff Sidoli, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director gsidoli@mtncac.org
Geoff Sidoli has an extensive history working in the sexual abuse field for the past 30 years with victims of sexual abuse and those who sexually abused others. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado and a Master’s Degree in social work from UNC-Chapel Hill. He speaks regionally and nationally on the topic of sexual abuse treatment and prevention. He serves on several state and national boards that focus on sexual abuse assessment, intervention, and prevention. When not spending time with his wife and three children, he occasionally gets to run, climb or cook.

Amy Purdy, Assistant Director advocacy@mtncac.org
Amy Purdy graduated from the University of Georgia and began a career in business, working in packaged goods marketing and new product development for ConAgra and Plaid Enterprises. She left the corporate world to raise a family, and when she returned to working full time desired to put her business skills to use for a non-profit. Amy worked four years as the Administrative Assistant at the Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County and then moved to Asheville and joined the team at Mountain Child Advocacy Center in May of 2016. She is also a licensed NC Real Estate Broker and an NC Notary Public. Amy is not all business; a dabbler in creative arts and master in none, she enjoys painting, pottery, and quilting.

Xia Bell M.S., LCMHC, LCAS-A, NCC, Clinical Supervisor xbell@mtncac.org
Xia has provided therapy to children, adolescents, and their families for 8 years. She is 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).

Johnny Evans, MA, LMFT, Clinical Programs Manager jevans@mtncac.org
Johnny is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT), who has received extensive training in a range of treatment modalities & theories consistent with family systems theory. Additionally, he has received training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Addictions Counseling (certificate from Appalachian State University), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and advanced training in Accelerated Resolution Therapy. He has had the opportunity to work with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings. Johnny believes that the core of meaningful, effective therapy lies in developing strong therapeutic relationships and working in a collaborative manner toward desired goals.

Ebony Ward, MSW, LCSW-A, Family Advocate eward@mtncac.org
Ebony Ward earned a Master’s in Social Work and Substance Abuse counseling certificate from East Tennessee State University. Ebony started her career in social work in 2010 and brings experience from therapeutic foster care, one-on-one care, and mentoring of the IDD population, Alcohol and substance abuse, and law enforcement. Ebony joined the Mountain Child Advocacy Center team as the Family Advocate and Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Ebony enjoys giving back to the community and DIY projects.

Angela Austin, LCMHC, LCAS-A, Full Time Therapist aaustin@mtncac.org
Angela has extensive experience working with children and families who have been impacted by trauma.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UNC-Asheville and her Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Western Carolina University.  She is rostered in a range of evidence-based therapies by the NC Child Treatment Program, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP).  She is trained to provide parenting support through Circles of Security and Resource Parent Curriculum for caregivers of children who have experienced trauma.   Angela strongly believes in the resiliency of children and families and the fact that the past does not have to define the future.  As an Asheville native, Angela enjoys hiking in our beautiful mountains and spending time with her husband and two dogs.

Andrea Biffle, LCS, Full Time Therapist Andrea Biffle abiffle@mtncac.org 
Andrea is one of the newer members of the MCAC team, joining in 2021.  She received her master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and provided support to children and families for close to 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.

Chris Blanc, MS, LCMHC, Full Time Therapist cblanc@mtncac.org
Chris Blanc, MS, LCMHC, has over 24 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families. She has an M.S. in Community Counseling from the University of Akron. She has experience working with the Juvenile Justice population and children in foster care. She was rostered in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) in 2011 through the North Carolina Child Treatment Program. In addition, she has completed a year-long training in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) in 2018 for adults who have experienced trauma.   She has treated hundreds of children and families who have experienced various types of trauma. She works with children aged 3-18 and their families, but she e adolescents. Chris is originally from Ohio and has been in the Asheville area since 2005. She loves the area and enjoys hiking and fitness.

Ashley Fiore, MSW, LCSW, Contract Therapist afiore@mtncac.org
Ashley is a clinician with over 20 years of experience treating childhood trauma, primarily in Children’s Advocacy Centers and DV/SA agencies. She is on faculty as a TFCBT trainer for the NC Child Treatment Program at Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Health, where she provides training and clinical consultation to clinicians across the state in TFCBT. She has developed successful TFCBT programs in several agencies, serves as a clinical consultant to the Partnering for Excellence Project, and provides implementation support of evidence-based models to agencies in NC as well as other states. Ashely is also rostered in Alternatives For Families, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AFCBT).

Betsy Hurd, MSW, LCSW, Contract Therapist bhurd@mtncac.org
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 Kixmiller, MSW, LCSW, Full Time Therapist hkixmiller@mtncac.org

Florencia Seone, MSW, LCSW-A, MS in Psychology fseoane@mtncac.org
Bilingual clinician.

Colleen Burnet, BSW, Community Prevention Educator educator@mtncac.org

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 the critical role adults play 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, responsibilities of adults in the care of children, and laws around reporting suspicions of child abuse in NC. 

Melissa Garrett, MSW, Prevention Educator for schools mgarrett@mtncac.org

Carla Musgrove, Fund Developer cmusgrove@mtncac.org
Carla is an experienced development professional joining the team at Mountain CAC in 2018. Upon graduation from the College of Charleston, SC, she worked in corporate operations, brand development, and management for eight years before finding her calling in nonprofits. Raising awareness, advocacy, and funding for communities and causes continues to bring Carla joy, fulfillment, and gratification, over ten years later. Her passions include cooking, the arts, and adventures in nature with her partner and dog.

Board

Board of Directors

Bryan Boone, Chair, TD Bank

Doug Piercy, Vice-Chair, Marin Supply

Kellye Bradshaw, BS, MAC, JD Treasurer, Attorney, Retired

Debby Burchfield, Secretary, Juvenile Justice, Retired

Glenda Bailey, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Kyla Boyles, Care Partners

Brian Chandler, Buncombe Co. Schools

Shelia Elingburg, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Leslie Hansen, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Lynn Kieffer, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Christine Malloy, Child Advocate

Hannah Marshall, Mills River Family Dental

Carrie Patrick, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Kim Plemmons, Wells Fargo Retired.

Kathy Redmond, Home Trust Bank, Retired

Michelle Russell, Child Advocate and Community Volunteer

Tonja Schroder, RN, HCA-Mission

Callie Stingel, Callie’s Confections

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

Laurin Yoder, Brumit Restaurant Group

Community

Cindy Brown, MD

Becky Brown

Van Duncan, Sheriff

David Graham, MD

Olson Huff, MD

Amy Pichard

Maureen Scullin

Jack Teague, DDS

Angela Zarrella

History

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.