Our mission...
A community working together to nurture hope and healing in the lives of children and families impacted by child sexual abuse.

Meet our staff

1gail swafford

Gail Swafford, LICSW

Executive Director

1blakely hopper

Blakely Hopper

Forensic Interviewer Specialist

1jill herring


Family & Medical Advocate

1kaylee proctor

Kaylee Brooke


Missing staff

Charlotte Svenson-Swindoll, MSW



Meet our board

Darla west

Darla West

President 2020-2021
I've been honored to work with and volunteer with some of the finest people anyone could know here in Cullman, Alabama. It is such a blessing to live in the best small town in the world in the "Bible belt" where most respect their elders, love their families, and stay active in their churches.

Sadly, for many years I was naively unaware that children are targets of sexual predators even here in our wonderful community. After learning more and understanding what these precious kids have endured, I was sickened and challenged to help in any way I can.

The one thing these brave kids don't need after they report their predators is to feel further traumatized by the process of bringing their perpetrators to Justice. Brooks' Place Child Advocacy Center make sure these children feel safe, heard. Instead of additional trauma, child victims of sexual and physical abuse have the opportunity to receive medical treatment, specialized counseling, and critical assistance in resolving their cases in court.

Because of Brooks' Place, no abused child should ever feel isolated and marginalized ever again. Now that I know, I must help and encourage all to do the same.
1kurt apel

Kurt Apel

Vice-president 2020-2021
1missing board

Kerry Neighbors

I’m fortunate enough to live and work in the same community where I grew up and graduated high school. When it came time to have my own family, Cullman County is the place I chose because of the good quality of life.

Unfortunately for many kids in our community, quality of life is something that have never been exposed to. Instead of innocent play, looking forward to their next life milestones, and planning their futures, their days are filled with pain and worry because they are currently or have been sexually assaulted. They face times of not knowing who to trust and what to do. These two realities can’t be reconciled or overcome without resources like Brooks’ Place, which helps those assault victims to reclaim their lives and their power following assaults.

It would be great if Brooks’ Place didn’t have to exist, but it does. It would be even greater if public resources were all that were needed to keep the doors open, but it’s not.

I volunteer at Brooks’ Place to hopefully make a difference in our community. I can help raise money that lets Brooks’ Place operate. I do this because what they do for these kids. My hope is this will allow them to go back to innocent play and looking forward to their lives with hope.
Missing board

Carrie Bentley

1clay colvard

Clay Colvard

My family and I moved to Cullman in 2012 and are blessed to be a part of this community. I am the proud father to three kids and have been heavily involved with every aspect of their lives. I believe children’s lives are shaped by their experiences- with parents, teachers, caregivers. I was introduced to Brooks’ Place a couple of years back. After learning more about Brooks’ Place and knowing what they do for the kids in our community, I wanted to help. I was baffled to hear of the countless stories of abuse that youth in our small community encounter daily. I want to do my part to ensure that kids in our community are safer. They need a Safe Place to discuss the tragic events that they have endured. Brooks’ Place is that Safe Place.

Brian Lacy

I have always enjoyed helping and working with children. As a teenager and young adult I coached youth sports teams, helping boys and girls to learn and enjoy games that have brought so  much joy to my life. Since moving to Cullman more than 15 years ago, I have worked with the high school and middle school students at my church, guiding them as they grow in their faith and, when necessary, listening and giving advice at a time in life when many kids don’t want to hear the same message from mom and dad. In the past few years I have been blessed to become a father of two boys, and I find myself even more drawn to caring for children, but in a new way. Protecting the,. I want t be involved with Brooks’ Place, because I want to do my part in caring for children who have been hurt and to make out community a safer place for those who are most vulnerable.
3missing board

Shane Quick

Molly hardin

Molly Hardin

The sad truth is … this is real life. One out of every five children in Cullman County are abused, physically or sexually. They need someone. Someone in their corner to navigate, protect and stay in the corner for as long as needed. Cullman county is the best county and we have a lot of local heroes, and many of those heroes work at Brooks' Place and others partner with Brooks' Place to continually support these children and this is why I do what I do. 
100% OF OUR FUNDING STAYS IN CULLMAN. All funding is provided by local donations.
Brooks’ Place provides hope, help, and healing.