April 3, 2017 - 11:00am
The New York State Office of Victim Services announced that $10 million in federal funding is available for state-approved Child Advocacy Centers to enhance services provided to children who are victims of crime.
Eligible centers can apply for funding to help offset the cost to purchase and install video recording equipment and hire specially trained staff to interview young victims of sexual and physical abuse.
The announcement of the availability of the grants, which are funded through the federal Victims of Crime Act and administered by the Office of Victim Services, coincides with Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo also issued a proclamation marking National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in New York State.
There are 36 service providers authorized by the state to operate Child Advocacy Centers across New York. Child Advocacy Centers allow multidisciplinary teams of law enforcement, child protective services professionals, prosecutors, medical and mental health providers, and victim advocates to partner with Center staff and respond to allegations of child abuse. This collaborative approach helps to reduce trauma experienced by child victims, assists their families, provides necessary support services and allows for thorough investigations to hold offenders accountable.
Office of Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin visited the McMahon-Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Syracuse this morning to announce the availability of the grants. The Request for Assistance details eligibility requirements and includes a list of agencies and Centers eligible for funding.
“Child abuse cases often involve a violation of trust that has left the young victim deeply traumatized. In these situations, it’s critical for investigators to take every possible precaution to avoid inflicting further trauma as they gather evidence,” Director Cronin said. “This funding will help child advocacy centers across the state by providing them with the resources they need to ensure these children are treated with the compassion and care they are entitled to receive in wake the abuse they suffered.”