Manchester Team to Help Children Exposed to Violence

Jul 7, 2016

 

Developers of the ACERT Project, from left to right: Project LAUNCH Local Program Director Lara Quiroga from Manchester Community Health Center; Jessica Sugrue, President of YWCA NH; Lt. Nicole Ledoux from Manchester Police Department; and Lt. Paul Thompson from Manchester Police Department.

Children who witness violence in New Hampshire's largest city will be getting help, thanks to a new partnership among police and behavioral health care providers.

The new Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team grew out of efforts by Manchester police to address a troubling realization: Unlike direct victims of crime, none of the more than 400 children who were exposed to violence in 2014 were provided with advocacy or referral services.

The new team includes a police officer, crisis advocate and behavioral health professional who can quickly respond to incidents and determine what could help the child, such as support groups, counseling or child-parent psychotherapy.

In addition to police, the partnership includes the Manchester Community Health Center and YWCA New Hampshire. It is funded through a grant from the HNH Foundation.