Bar News - November 9, 2007
Child Advocacy Center Opens Third Location
By: Craig Sander
The New Hampshire Network of Child Advocacy Centers recently opened its third facility in Manchester. The goal of the centers, “To serve and protect the abused child and to strengthen families and [the] community through the collaborative actions of a multi-disciplinary team of community professionals,” was brought one step closer to fruition the grand opening of their Hillsborough-North location, which was attended by leaders of law enforcement, legislative, executive, judicial, victim advocacy, and health care agencies.
NHN-CAC facilities, based on a broader, nationally recognized model created by the National Child Advocacy Organization, have been operating in the state since 2004.
Currently, in the event of child abuse – physical, emotional, or sexual – an investigation is launched by numerous state and local agencies. These can include law enforcement, social services, health care agencies, psychologists, doctors, and others. Each individual organization performs its own investigations in pursuit of their various cases. This process involves the interview of the child. Such repeated “re-living” of the event, according to the CAC, could result not only in barriers to a proper investigation, but can also increase the trauma caused to the child.
The Child Advocacy Centers aim to consolidate the various departments and agencies and conduct one all-encompassing interview at a CAC facility where all represented parties can ask their own questions through the use of a qualified forensic interviewer.
Aside from facilitating proper investigations of child abuse, the Child Advocacy Centers also have an extensive collection of preventative methods, including distribution of literature, hosting of tours and seminars, as well as training for law enforcement and other officials in the handling of child-abuse cases.
More information can be found at the New Hampshire Network of Child Advocacy Centers at their Web site, www.nhncac.org, or by calling 603-889-0321.
From left, CAC-NH Director John Parolin, Comcast Director of Northern New England Mark Adamy, Hillsborough County Attorney Marguerite Wageling, Gov. John Lynch, CAC-HCS Director Kristie Palestino, Manchester Police Chief John Jaskolka, NH State Senator Theodore Gatsas, and State Police Lieutenant John LeLacheur.