About us

Our Story

Child Watch was established in 1984 to address the growing problem of child abuse and neglect in our community. 

Reports of maltreatment were rapidly increasing and at the time no agency existed to support child victims.  A group of community professionals and concerned citizens saw the need to form an organization designed to prevent child abuse and help abuse victims heal and took action.

The organization was dedicated to providing services in a non-threatening, child-friendly atmosphere where the healing process for children and their families could begin. Initially the organization offered a 24-hour crisis intervention line for information and referral services for child victims, their families and concerned individuals.

In 1985 we initiated child abuse prevention education programming for area schools, while mental health therapy services began in 1987. In 1988 CASA of McCracken County was formed and accredited by the National CASA Association, and we began providing court advocacy services for children removed from their home due to abuse and neglect.

Today, the need for our services still remains, with Kentucky leading the nation in substantiated cases of abuse and neglect. Education, advocacy and treatment remain our priorities and all services are always provided free of charge.

We are a 501(c)(3) agency funded by grants and corporate and individual donors.  We provide educational programming in elementary schools in 13 counties, therapy services are available in our Paducah and Benton locations and CASA of McCracken County is now CASA of West Kentucky, covering McCracken, Ballard, Livingston and Lyon counties.

our Team

Janie Criner

Executive Director

Stephanie Steele

Administrative Manager


Kimberly Hines, LPA

Therapist, Clinical Coordinator

Michelle Hawkins, MSW, LCSW


Lucy Carabelle

Therapy Dog


Stephanie Moss

CASA Program Director

Liz Hansen

CASA Volunteer Coordinator

Jen Doom

CASA Advocate Supervisor

Education and Outreach

Jill Niesen

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Support Staff

Gale Neel

Therapy Assistant