In the spring of 2006, during her senior year at Hendrix College, Rogers native Erin Kraner watched a documentary on underserved children.
The film spurred her to action, and she sent resumes to multiple child-care organizations in Northwest Arkansas.
Her inquiry to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County was answered that summer by then-executive director Beverly Engel, who offered Kraner a job as a child advocate.
She was hired in July, and has since served in multiple roles at the CAC, founded in 2000 to provide services to child abuse victims and their families.
In 2008, Kraner became a specially trained forensic interviewer. She was promoted to assistant director of the center last year.
Kraner earned an interdisciplinary degree from Hendrix, where she played basketball. She also has a certified nursing certificate from Northwest Arkansas Community College, and a master’s degree in community counseling from John Brown University.
Kraner says she’s interviewed about 2,500 children at the CAC, which works with law enforcement or child protective services after an allegation of abuse has been made to the child abuse hotline.
The center, which is nearing completion of an expansion from 6,000 to 10,000 SF, opened nearly 800 cases in 2015 and has about 15 employees. It also facilitates child abuse prevention, awareness and education to the community.
Of her leadership position, Kraner considers herself fortunate to do something she enjoys.
“I love to empower others, and that’s one of the things I get to do with our staff,” she said. “This is a group of people who care immensely about kids and have dedicated their lives to making a difference.”