CAC sets groundwork for Walton County location

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 04:14 PM.

Seeing a need for an office in Walton County, the center rented space — albeit a small one — in DeFuniak Springs with the intention of creating a permanent location in the future. The current Walton County center is 1,200 square-feet, about 9,000 short of the space needed for the team.

With a rising caseload from DeFuniak, Hurst said the Walton County office will help meet a need in the local area.

“Niceville, is kind of central in Okaloosa County, but when we had cases in Walton County, we were giving out a lot of gas cards,” she said. “We don't want any barriers between us and the children and the travel got to be a barrier."

Setting the groundwork

With the help of some core community leaders such as Sheriff Mike Adkinson, Tom Cooper, director of security at Sandestin, Alexis Tibbitts, superintendent of Okaloosa County , Carlene Anderson, superintendent of Walton County and Arthur Miller of the Institute for Senior Professionals, a steering committee was formed. It has met every month since July. 

Right now, the team is in the process of identifying property in the DeFuniak Springs area while also reaching out to  Walton County commissioners and leaders to let them know what ECCAC does and how it will benefit the community. Hurst said even after 13 years of serving Okaloosa and Walton County, ECCAC often gets confused with Department of Juvenile Justice.

"Certainly, they're not going to say, 'No, we're not going to help the kids,' " Cooper said

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