Your Support Enables Us to Continue with Our Mission

The origins of Heart to Heart date back to efforts by Harvey County Sheriff Townsend Walton and Department for Children and Families Social Work Supervisor Lori Hardin in 2000 to improve the experiences of children coming forward with allegations of abuse. 

Sheriff Walton and Lori Hardin had conducted many interviews with child victims of abuse.  They realized that traditional types of interviews were extremely difficult for children, many of whom were already traumatized by the abuse they experienced.  Walton and Hardin also recognized the environment where child interviews were conducted needed improvement. 

Back then, interviews were conducted at Police Stations, at schools, in police cars, or even in the child's home with the alleged perpetrator in the next room.  Too frequently, the child also had to be interviewed numerous times by various agencies involved in the abuse investigation.  Both Walton and Hardin agreed there had to be a better way!

By creating Heart to Heart, children who had been abused could come to a safe, neutral child-friendly center to talk about what happened to them.  The child and his or her non-offending family members could also access resources and support. 

The Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Model relies on a multidisciplinary response to child abuse.  Instead of numerous interviews by various agencies, those agencies joined in a team effort to interview the child only once, if possible.  The goal of Heart to Heart is to provide the necessary services, resources and compassion for children and families who come to the center reporting abuse to help them begin to heal.

Since opening in August 2001, more than 1800 children have come to Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Centers based on allegations of abuse.  Many of those cases have resulted in warrants, arrests, and convictions.


  • Granted IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit status


  • Marlene Beeson-Lemmer became Executive Director

  • Received Governor's Child Advocacy Grant

  • Heart to Heart McPherson County was established

  • Awarded Associate Status from the National Children's Alliance (NCA)


  • Associate accreditation given to the McPherson County Center


  • Re-accreditation from the National Children's Alliance


  • Gene Kristensen named Interim Executive Director

  • Fun Run Started

Our Team

The goals of the center are to provide quality resources to children of abuse and their non-offending family members by offering:

  • A comprehensive multidisciplinary response to child abuse that meets the needs of child victims and their families

  • A safe child appropriate/child friendly agency

  • Interviews by professionally trained forensic interviewers. Prevent trauma to children by not having them need to repeat the account of abuse to multiple people at different times.

  • Ongoing advocacy support, court preparation and accompaniment as appropriate.

  • Case coordination and open communication among community professionals and agencies involved in child protection.

  • Coordinate and track investigative and prosecutorial efforts.

  • refer families to needed services such as medical intervention and behavioral health services that will assist them in regaining improved functioning 

Our Mission

​Doug Anderson

McPherson County Representative

Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Centers are dedicated to effectively and efficiently serve child victims of abuse and assist local communities in responding to allegations of child abuse

Our mission is to provide children’s advocacy services and enhance safety for child abuse victims and their families by facilitating a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to prevention, investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse. To reduce the traumatization and provide comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

Our Goals

Child Advocacy Center History

Chief Eric Murphy
President                                  Harvey County Representative

Lori Hardin
Vice President                               Harvey County Representative 

Stephen Owens
Treasurer                                  Harvey County Representative

Under Sheriff Shawn Chapman
Secretary                                   Harvey County Representative


Historical Timeline


  • Kerry Grosch named Executive Director

  • Dede Trumble joins Heart to Heart to provide advocacy services to children and families.

  • Awarded Governor's, Attorney General's, and VOCA grants

  • 1st annual Newton Zombie Run is held

  • Battle Paddle Started


  • Gloria Arellano named Interim Executive Director

  • Lisa Donahue joins Heart to Heart to assist children and families with advocacy services.

  • 1st annual Marion County and Hesston golf tournaments conducted   

  • 2nd annual Newton Zombie Run


  • Greg Peterson named Executive Director

  • 2nd annual Marion County and Hesston golf tournaments conducted   

  • 3rd annual Newton Zombie Run

Our Vision

Children in Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties shall have a safe and neutral place to talk about circumstances in their life with specially trained forensic interviewers, and have Family Advocates and a multidisciplinary team to make decisions in their best interest. Promote all agencies to harmoniously work together to ensure children of abuse are not victimized again by the system that protects them.

Chief Randy Jordan              Harvey County Representative

Darrell Conrade
Harvey County Representative

Lori Hardin

Harvey County Representative

 Janet Reimer                             Harvey County Representative