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Child Advocacy Center of Niagara

The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara was founded in 1995 as a partnership between local law enforcement agencies, the Niagara County District Attorney's office and the Niagara County Department of Social Services. It was the third child advocacy center to be established in New York and one of the first nationally approved, hospital-affiliated centers in the Empire State.

Children's advocacy centers use multidisciplinary teams of professionals and agencies to create a child-focused approach to child abuse cases. The goal is to coordinate investigative and interventional services, in a child-friendly setting, to ensure children are not re-victimized by the very system designed to protect them.

All child abuse interviews and evaluations conducted at the Child Advocacy Center are referred by the Niagara County Department of Social Services, law enforcement agencies or the Niagara County district attorney.

Located in Memorial's Hamilton B. Mizer Primary Care Center at 501 10th St., the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara is a fully accredited member of the National Children's Alliance and has been a full member of the Alliance since 1997.

Dr. Jack Coyne, a nationally recognized medical expert in the field of child abuse, serves as the center's medical director. In addition, he trains law enforcement personnel and physicians on the medical evaluation of child abuse and is often called upon to testify as an expert witness.

"By providing a comprehensive, coordinated team response we promote professional, objective investigation of abuse allegations," said Memorial Vice President Ann Marie Tucker, the Child Advocacy Center's former executive director.

"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.


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