Updated 09/23/2011 05:51 PM
Multiple agencies fighting child abuse in one building
A place where services focused on identifying, prosecuting and preventing child abuse are all housed has open in Syracuse. YNN's Erin Clarke tells us about the new McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy site.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Dealing with abuse is no easy situation, especially for children, but the McMahon/Ryan staff want to make that experience as comfortable as possible.
"Every time a child comes here, when after they do their interview, when the leave, they get a bear, a blanket, a book," said Child and Family Advocate Jennifer Majesky-Pike.
The child advocacy agency moved from its former 3,000 square foot building to a 30,000 square foot space on East Genesee Street. One that is inviting, child friendly and puts all essential services under one roof.
"Now we can ensure that as soon as a child walks through that front door they have advocacy, they have the mental health, they have the medical piece and they have the support of this whole team," said McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Site Director Julie Cecile.
"We have a child telling their story one time. We look for consistencies, we look for corroboration and we're able to put a case together much more quickly when you have all the professionals in one room," said Onondaga County District Attorney, William Fitzpatrick.
Also eliminating a child reliving their trauma by re-telling their story.
Bringing all these services under one roof and continuing the programs costs more than one million dollars. McMahon/Ryan staff hopes the community will pour in support to help fund the agency.
"The renovations did cost the $1.4 million, but also then we had to have a lot of infrastructure, so that's going to obviously cost us another $600 thousand on top of the one-point-four," said Cecile.
The agency has launched a $3 million capital campaign to achieve its goal of becoming an accredited Child Advocacy site and possibly the best one in the country.
For more information about the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Site, visit www.mcmahonryan.org.