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Thursday, December 05 2013

HRC To Hold Public Hearing For Child Advocacy Center

From a Greenfield Human Rights Commission (HRC) press release:

On Monday, December 9, 2013, at 6:00 PM in the Greenfield Town Hall meeting room, the Greenfield Human Rights Commission will hold a public hearing for the purpose of ascertaining methods to support the further establishment and growth of the Franklin County Child Advocacy Center.

The Franklin County Child Advocacy Center, a project of the Northwestern Children's  Advocacy Center of the Northwestern District Attorney's Office, is an age appropriate center set in a more relaxed atmosphere that seeks to help child victims of physical and/or sexual assault and neglect. In the first nine months of this year, according to the most recent information reported, 111 young victims from Franklin County and Athol have received services from the Center. Since 2008, the annual number of such cases has averaged from 145 to 158 in the greater Franklin County area. Part of the critical function of a child advocacy center is to refer the child for follow-up treatment, if needed, and to support the victim and non-offending family members through the legal system. The centers also provide education and training in the community about child abuse and neglect. This according to information in the Recorder provided by the District Attorney's office.

The Commission's public hearing will explore further information of interest to the community regarding the Franklin County Child Advocacy Center; its' recent progress, its' needs and how the Commission can assist in those efforts.

Lewis Metaxas, chairman of the Greenfield Human Rights Commission, said, "The Franklin County Child Advocacy Center is one of the most important and exciting projects in years in our community that seeks to protect the rights and preserve the best interests of our children. The Commission would like to help in the formation of a community coalition to help further the work of the Center. This is why the Commission is devoting an entire meeting to the issue of the Center and asking for the input of the public in this way."

Susan Loehn, executive director of the Northwestern Children's Advocacy Center, will be the guest speaker of the Commission at the public hearing on Monday, December 9th at 6:00m PM at Town Hall.

All residents of Greenfield and Franklin County are welcome to attend, speak and ask questions.

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