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Carteret County Child Advocacy Center To Streamline Abuse Cases With Human Services Multidisciplinary Team

A new Carteret County Child Advocacy Center received approval recently from county commissioners to help local consolidated human services better address local child abuse cases with a more streamlined and faster response to these types of cases. Under this new center, a multidisciplinary team of area officials from doctors, nurses, victim advocates, mental health professionals, social services, law enforcement, prosecutors, teachers, and other investigators can sit together and address cases as they received them rather than the old approach where each of these areas investigated separately.

Update October 2021: This center opened in the Fall of 2020, but due to the pandemic a ribbon cutting was delayed until 2021. According to reports, this center has already helped 70 children in Carteret County NC.

Readers are encouraged to share this document on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook so that others can learn more about this advocacy center, along with using the discussion form below to engage with other readers on issues that affect the response to child abuse in the county.

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At the Carteret County commissioners meeting, Consolidated Human Services Director Cindy Holman told area leaders that this approach would mean a much faster response to child abuse cases. Under this new plan, all representatives from each discipline would meet at the center to make child focused decisions on investigations, healthcare, and act on other immediate needs of the child in physical and sexual abuse cases as reports are received.

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Director Holman further explained that this new child advocacy center could meet a 24 hour mandate to get forensic experts, medical care professionals, psychologist, and other investigators all focused on a case at one time while a child was in crisis rather than waiting weeks or months to setup individual interviews.

The Consolidated Human Services Director went on to state that she believes funding for this new child focused center could come from grants and other sources like Governor’s Crime Commission, the National Childrens’ Alliance, and other funding sources.

At the Monday, December 10th meeting, Director Holman told commissioners that they would need to sign a memorandum of understanding by January 5th, 2019.


  • 127,404 children with investigated reports of possible abuse and neglect in North Carolina from July 2016 to June 2017.
  • In 2013, 25 NC children died at the hands of a caregiver.

In researching information about the proposed Carteret County Child Advocacy Center, many other counties in NC are taking this new approach to child sexual assault and child physical abuse investigations in what is called a “Multi Response System (MRS)” and this new approach is yielding better results for children experiencing abuse.


After writing about this center more than a year ago, what is the latest developments on this? Did the center open and is it fully functional?

Using the comment system below and subscribing to comment replies, what are your thoughts on this new center and new approach to investigating and responding to abuse in the county?

Further Reading

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

4 thoughts on “Carteret County Child Advocacy Center To Streamline Abuse Cases With Human Services Multidisciplinary Team

  • December 12, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I am all for this center, new way of doing things, and advocacy, but I am curious how this wasn’t already being done under ex-parte orders where a local judge can give an immediate order to do just about anything in abuse cases?

    • December 12, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      I don’t think this changes ex-parte cases, this is just saying that in the past separate investigations and asked questions were handled by different professionals separated by time resulting in a child having to endure that and all those different people having to do their work before a criminal or social services case could go forward.

      Under this new center, everything would be done at once and different agencies being at one table as close to the event as possible. I don’t see where Director Holman said that this new team would take the place of an ex-parte order.

      • December 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

        OK, that makes sense but I was just pointing out that all the representatives to this team were already involved within 24 hours under the ex-parte system.

        • December 12, 2018 at 4:08 pm

          Oh ok, I see what you are saying. Yes, it is true that in child abuse cases law enforcement, social services, a teacher, and local mental health agency may be involved within 24 hours but not all were sitting in the same room coordinating together. Each representation was doing their own investigation and many times the first time all sit together is at a court hearing. Under this new center that team will have already coordinated together before any hearing.

          But also, this is a child focused initiative, where it is hoped that a child does not have to endure multiple questions by multiple people over multiple days, in multiple environments.


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