The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara
The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara exists to protect children.
It's a multi-disciplinary program that responds to reports of physical and sexual child abuse by coordinating a unified response by criminal justice, medical and mental health services professionals at a single location.
Prosecutors, police officers, child protection workers, therapists, victim advocates and medical professionals work together to investigate allegations and to reduce the trauma for children reported as victims by:
- Providing a comfortable, child-friendly environment for interviews and other services
- Reducing the number of times the child is interviewed
- Arranging medical, mental health and victim advocacy services.
The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara is an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance. Referrals are made to the Center by local law enforcement agencies and child protective services. Its partners include Memorial Medical Center, local law enforcement agencies, the Niagara County District Attorney's Office and the Niagara County Department of Social Services.
"Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like for a 7-year-old child - who is threatened by an abuser that if they tell anybody about the abuse they will get in trouble - to go to a police station to talk about being abused. Then imagine that child having to go to an emergency room to be asked questions again, and then to go to a social worker's office and then to a counselor, and a lawyer...different people, different places, but the same questions over and over," said Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. "Thanks to the Child Advocacy Center, it's different in Niagara County."
To learn more about the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, its referral policies or services, call (716) 285-0045 or visit www.cacofniagara.org.