Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County

Phone: 828-465-9296

4360 County Home Road
Conover, NC 28613

Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center Staff

The CAPC staff is comprised of a full-time executive director, administrative assistant, victim’s advocate, and an outpatient therapist. Other staff includes a part-time licensed practical nurse and a community outreach and volunteer coordinator.

Executive Director –  Adrienne Opdyke, BSW

Adrienne holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from Appalachian State University. She has ten years of experience working with Children’s Advocacy Centers. Adrienne has served as the Victims Advocate and Multidisciplinary Team facilitator since September 2007. She is also an Instructor and Facilitator for Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children sexual abuse prevention program.

Outpatient Therapist – Karen Henson, MA, LPA

Karen is a Licensed Psychological Associate, earning a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Appalachian State University in 1993. She has 30 years experience working in mental health centers across North Carolina providing therapeutic services to children, adolescents and adults. Throughout her career, she has worked with sexual abuse issues and has experience working with victims, families and perpetrators. This experience allows a unique perspective and understanding of sexual abuse dynamics. Karen joined the CAPC in September 2008, providing on-site treatment services to victims and their families. She is trained in evidenced-based clinical practices and is committed to assisting children and families through the healing process.

Child and Family Advocate – MeLissa Swartley

MeLissa graduated from Western Carolina University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Child and Family Studies. She has worked as a Teaching Parent, Children’s Pastor and CPS Forensic Investigator.

MeLissa and her husband have 4 children and enjoy spending time anywhere there is a body of water.

Nurse Practitioner – Julia Wetmore, CPNP-PC

Julia joined the CAPC staff in the summer of 2014. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner with a PhD in nursing education. Julia also teaches nursing at Western Carolina University. She has over 30 years of combined experience in pediatric nursing and nursing education. She is rostered by the State of North Carolina to perform child medical exams in cases of suspected sexual and physical abuse and neglect.

Medical Office Assistant – Anna Carrigan

Anna graduated from Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute in 2012 with a certification in Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy.

She has worked in various medical fields in the past 11 years, including Pediatrics, Urgent Care and Family Medicine.

Anna enjoys being with family, going to Pigeon Forge TN, and reading in her spare time.


Forensic Interviewer – Sarah Chester

Sarah graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). She has worked as a CPS Forensic Investigator where she has been a member of our Multi-Disciplinary team for the past several years, and prior to that worked as a medical social worker. Sarah loves spending time with her family on the weekends, and going on new adventures.



Administrative Assistant – Kelly Gross

Kelly graduated from Binghamton University in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration and Cornell University in 2008 with a master’s degree in Public Administration. She also interned as part of the Cornell in Washington Program at the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. Before having her two children, she worked in the office of the North Carolina Center for Engineering Technologies.

Over the years she has enjoyed volunteering in the children’s ministries at her church and in the Cub Scout program leading activities. She loves to read, play the piano, and do arts and crafts. One of her favorite hobbies is painting, and she began producing and selling oil paintings in 2019. She is excited to bring her organization skills, creativity, and passion for helping children to The Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County.

Spanish Interpreter – Forrest Tompkins

Forrest studied visual merchandising & interior design in college. She worked in the retail/customer service field for almost 10 years. She has been married to her husband, Tim, for 6 years and they have a 4 year old son named Jack. They also have 3 dogs and a cat. Forrest grew up in between Florida & Costa Rica, as her mother and many family members are still in Costa Rica. She loves spending time with family, gardening, traveling, and art.

Forrest is excited to serve and give back to the Hispanic community. She knows what it feels like to not know the language and have many family members that don’t speak English. She feels like she grew up interpreting for her parents and is glad to be able to use that background to make a positive impact on the families she serves.

Bookkeeper – Amy Purdy

Amy Purdy graduated from the University of Georgia and began a career in business, working in packaged goods marketing and new product development for ConAgra and Plaid Enterprises.

She left the corporate world to raise a family, and when she returned to working full-time, desired to put her business skills to use for a non-profit.  Amy worked four years as the Administrative Assistant at the Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County and then moved to Asheville where she served as the Assistant Director at the Mountain Child Advocacy Center. Desiring to slow down a bit, Amy is happy to return to the CAPC to again assist in their CAC mission as the part-time bookkeeper.

Not all business; a dabbler in creative arts and master in none, she enjoys painting, pottery, and quilting.


Therapy Dog – Chance

Chance was donated to the CAPC by Good Day Doodles for the purpose of therapy dog work. Chance is an Australian Labradoodle with a low/non shedding coat. While he was with Good Day Doodles, he received early neurological stimulation and socialization to increase the likelihood of success as a therapy dog. He was temperament tested as a puppy and at 2 months old he was selected specifically for work at the CAPC.

Chance began his work with the CAPC September 3, 2019. At four-months old Chance began his formal training with Achieve Obedience Academy’s head trainer. Chance has completed basic obedience, marker training, advanced obedience, and public access training. He has received his AKC Canine Good Citizen title indicating that he has mastered ten specific obedience skills. Chance provides animal assisted interactions to the families we serve with the goal of minimizing stress and providing support to children and families in Catawba County impacted by child sexual and physical abuse. Chance also provides support to members of our multi-disciplinary team to reduce the impacts of vicarious trauma. Chance is half-way through his formal training, with goals that include being registered as a therapy dog and attending court proceedings with children to provide support when they testify.

Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center
4360 County Home Road
Conover, NC 28613
Phone: 828-465-9296