Caledonia Child Advocacy Center Moves

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ST. JOHNSBURY- The Caledonia Children's Advocacy Center has relocated to the NVDA building on Eastern Avenue in St. Johnsbury. The Advocacy Center is a safe haven for children and teenagers who have been physically or sexually abused.

Executive Director, Fred Saar started with the Caledonia Special Investigation back in 2011 and at that time they needed a temporary space for the center, and after just a year they found that space on Eastern Avenue.

The cost of moving from Railroad Street to Eastern Avenue was around $500 and all of the land remodeling was covered through the cost of rent.

In the past when a child suffered physical or sexual abuse they ended up doing three to four interviews. They would talk to the police, the Department of Children and Families, and they might talk to the State's Attorney or a defense attorney.

Saar has a goal to reduce the number of traumatic events a child may face by conducting just one interview and recording it for others to watch later.

State Attorney, Lisa Warren is impressed with the direction the Advocacy Center is headed and has her own driving force, "My goal is to really make sure that all victims feel that they can come to the Advocacy Center to report crimes perpetrated against them," she said.

The new center has interview rooms for teenagers and adults as well as children to make them feel more comfortable.

Saar said the most rewarding thing about working with the advocacy program is to see the progress and the co-operation between the agencies and the services that are getting delivered to the children.

The advocacy center has already hosted two interviews at their new location and expects three to five cases weekly.
Saar doesn't think they will make any additions since Caledonia has a smaller population and that the space will fit the needs fairly well.