Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Dec. 19, 2005

Child Advocacy Center Receives National Accreditation

FULTON -- The Child Advocacy Center located in Oswego County has been accepted as an accredited member of National Children's Alliance, joining over 375 other member programs across the United States.

"We have worked long and hard to enhance the level of service in Oswego County to meet the standards of excellence set by the National Children's Alliance," said Kathleen Buchiere, Director of Services for the Oswego County Department of Social Services and a member of the CAC multi-disciplinary team. "All of the agencies that serve victims of child abuse and their families are working together as a team to make our center child-friendly, accessible, and responsive to the needs of our community."

Located at 370 S. Fourth St., Fulton, the center provides separate, child-friendly facilities for interviewing and providing services to child victims and their family members. The center uses a coordinated approach to investigate reports of abuse, and follows up with regular case reviews by the multi-disciplinary team.

"Organizations can be recommended for membership following an extensive application and site review process to determine compliance with minimum standards set by NCA," said Olivia Van Sanford, director of the Child Advocacy Center Foundation, Inc.

Several local agencies comprise the multidisciplinary team. They include Oswego County District Attorney's Office, Fulton City Police Department, New York State Police, Oswego City Police Department, Oswego County Sheriff's Department, Oswego County Department of Social Services, A. L. Lee Memorial Hospital, Oswego Hospital, Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. Health and SAF divisions, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Oswego County Probation Department, and the Child Advocacy Center.

Attention to the needs and abilities of children is a hallmark of Child Advocacy Center (CAC) programs and is fundamental to NCA standards.

"Recent research has validated the long-held belief that when interactions with children are age-appropriate and provided in a supportive manner, children are more likely to provide accurate and truthful information to investigators, therapists and other professionals," said VanSanford. "This is clearly in the best interest of everyone involved in and affected by child abuse."

NCA is a sub-grantor of more than $8 million a year in federal funds from the Department of Justice. For more information, call the CAC at 592-4453.

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