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Children in Niagara County who experience abuse, maltreatment have new child-focused facility designed just for them


Tue, Jun 14th 2016 11:55 am

Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, a service of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, is now located at the new Golisano Center for Community Health

The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, a service of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, has relocated to Suite 200A of the newly opened Golisano Center for Community Health, located at 533 10th St., Niagara Falls. Professionals, agency partners and community members will have the opportunity to tour the new facility at an open house from 2-4 p.m. today.

The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara is a nationally accredited multidisciplinary program that responds to reports of child abuse and maltreatment. Center staff work with professionals in child protective services, law enforcement, law, medicine, mental health and advocacy to reduce trauma for children, coordinate services, and provide a comfortable environment for investigative interviews and other services. An integrated approach assures access to medical, mental health, advocacy, case management and support services while reducing the effects of trauma.

"The Child Advocacy Center is really about teamwork," Executive Director Ann Marie Tucker said. "Our partners in law enforcement, child protection and victim advocacy work closely with our staff to assure the best possible outcomes for the protection of children. Our new facility provides a warm, inviting place where children and families can feel safe, plus increased efficiency for the professionals who protect them. It's a dream come true."

First established in 1995, the Child Advocacy Center has served nearly 5,000 children and their family members. Most recently, the center established a "Safe Harbour" program, in partnership with Niagara County Department of Social Services, to assist children who have experienced or are at high-risk of being trafficked.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo noted, "The Golisano Center for Community Health was built to assure integrated health care services for individuals with special needs and their families. The Child Advocacy Center has provided integrated services for more than 20 years, touching the lives of thousands of children and families. Their new home will allow them to help even more."

Child Advocacy Center staff also assist child witnesses to violence, coordinate county-wide child death review, and assist child and adult victims of trauma in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center's EROne. The center is also a source of community education and professional training about issues-related child abuse and trauma, providing more than 100 programs reaching some 3,000 people in the past year.

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