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Norris ending time as interviewer at CAC

LaTanya Norris’ time as a forensic interviewer for the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is coming to an end.

“I am a full-time therapist at Cahaba Mental Health Center and have been for the past 18 years,” she said. “I have been doing forensic interviewing at CAC for the last eight years. I will still be a therapist at Cahaba Mental Health.”

Norris said the path to CAC was started by a previous supervisor.

“It was brought to my attention by a then supervisor who asked if anyone would be interested in doing forensic interviewing,” said Norris. “So, I did some research about it and I thought I would be interested in doing something like that.”

After training in Huntsville for a week, she came back to CAC and “hit the ground running” in 2011.

“I interviewed children that have been sexually molested or abused and those that have been physically abused,” she said. “I would interview them and ask them questions about what happened to them and would find out the facts about what happened.”

Norris said she heard many stories in her 352 total interviews she has performed.

“There were all types of stories,” she said. “Stories that you really don’t want to hear about but at the same time, you are glad that you are able to help these children and these people that have done these things can be prosecuted.

“For me the cases are getting harder and harder,” she said. “It is something I don’t see anyone being able to do for a long period of time. The stories you hear you can’t just do away with them, you think about them and wonder what happened to the kids and it is just a lot plus on top of me being a therapist I just decided it was time. The staff here is wonderful. I have enjoyed working with them.”

At the Cahaba Center for Mental Health, Norris works with youth ages 5-18 every day.

She is a Selma native and graduated from Selma High School in 1995.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in Montgomery in communications and a minor in sociology. She also received two master’s degree from Auburn University in Montgomery one in agency counseling and another in public administration.

“I love Selma,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I know people have a lot of different thoughts about Selma but I love it. It is my home.”