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.
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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.
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?