The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, in conjunction with the Niagara County Department of Social Services, will host a two-day regional child fatality investigation and prevention training on Sept. 22-23.
The training will be held at Antonio's Banquet and Conference Center in Niagara Falls. The Child Advocacy Center expects more than 100 individuals from Niagara, Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, Genesee, Allegany, Steuben, and Schenectady counties to attend.
The tragedy of children dying impacts the entire community. In 2010, Niagara County experienced the traumatic sudden death of at least nine children. The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara and Niagara County Child Fatality Review Team hope next week's training will help prevent future deaths as well as improve the investigation of deaths that do occur.
"Our goal is to reach not only child fatality review team members in Niagara County, but human service providers in the entire Western New York community in order to increase awareness, put an end to preventable child fatalities, and improve agency responses in the investigation of child deaths," said Kim Proch, Niagara County Child Fatality Review Team coordinator.
Since 1998, the CAC has spearheaded, in coordination with law enforcement, the Department of Social Services, the district attorney's office and other community service providers, an effort to conduct a multidisciplinary team review of all sudden, unexpected child fatalities in Niagara County. The Niagara County Child Fatality Review Team has reviewed more than 100 child deaths in order to develop an understanding of the factors involved so that we may prevent future fatalities.
The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, a service of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, is a countywide resource, creating a child-friendly place for a multi-disciplinary team of law enforcement, social services, prosecution, and medical and mental health personnel to investigate allegations of child abuse. For more information, visit www.cacofniagara.org.