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Children’s Cove Marks 20 Years Providing Hope and Healing

Barnstable, MA – This year, Children’s Cove, a department of Barnstable County, marked 20 years of providing coordinated and comprehensive multidisciplinary services to child victims of sexual and physical abuse, child witnesses to domestic violence, and child victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Since 1997, thousands of Cape and Islands children have walked through the doors of Children’s Cove during a vulnerable time in their lives. These child victims find the support of a team of highly skilled and compassionate professionals who help guide them and family members through the often difficult steps toward recovery.

Children’s Cove Team

On Thursday, October 19th, Children’s Cove received citations marking their 20th Anniversary. Members of the media and the Cape Cod community were invited to attend the opening remarks of the 16th Children’s Cove Champions for Children Conference followed by a press reception hosted by Children’s Cove Director, Stacy Gallagher. In attendance were Children’s Cove staff, members of the Cape & Islands delegation, Cape & Islands District Attorney David O’Keefe and members of the original Barnstable County Task Force on Children who were responsible for the creation of Children’s Cove.

District Attorney Michael O’Keefe making remarks about Children’s Cove 20th year celebration.

Children’s Cove History

In 1997, members of the Barnstable County Task Force on Children – a collaboration with Cape Cod Healthcare, the Department of Children and Families, the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office and Barnstable County – identified that there was a need for specialized services for children who were victims of child abuse. Seeing no agencies in the Cape & Islands community that provided the specialized supports and services needed, they created Barnstable County’s first Child Advocacy Center.

Family Advocacy Melanie Sachs (right) with Danielle Whitney, this year’s recipient of the Above and Beyond for Children award. Danielle works in the Victim Advocate program at the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office.

Compassion and Efficiency Reduces Retraumatization

Children’s Cove provides a compassionate, efficient, child-friendly facility for child abuse intervention.  Children and families journey through a streamlined process which reduces the chances that the children are retraumatized and preserves the best evidence for investigators. Working in partnership, Children’s Cove staff provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary response to child sexual abuse cases. They facilitate an under-one-roof collaboration of social and legal agencies to protect, treat and make counseling referrals for child abuse victims and their families.With more than 800 Child Advocacy Centers in the United States, Children’s Cove is the only agency of its kind that provides the Cape & Islands with such comprehensive services. Through its outreach programs, Children’s Cove provides leadership within the Cape & Islands community. To help educate professionals who work with children, Children’s Cove provides trainings and resources to schools, summer camps, daycare centers, fire/police departments, and other community agencies. Children’s Cove continues to spread awareness amongst the Cape & Islands community with the belief that awareness can empower children to report right away.

“We are proud of the work being done by an effective collaboration of agencies and disciplines on behalf of child victims and their families, ” Stacy Gallagher, Director of Children’s Cove stated.  “And for the thousands of children who have walked through the doors of Children’s Cove during a very difficult time in their young lives, we say thank you to the citizens of the Cape Cod and Islands community for addressing this issue and recognizing the needs of these victims.”

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