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Child Advocacy Centers mobile unit coming to Franklin, Essex, Clinton, and St. Regis areas in May

January 11, 2019
By JESSE ADCOCK - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that $4.45 million will be awarded to expand Child Advocacy Centers in four counties, with $250,000 going toward the purchase a new CAC mobile unit to be shared between Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

The mobile unit is expected to be available for use in May 2019.

"In 2018 the Clinton County Child Advocacy Center was awarded funding for two mobile units to serve our regions children and families who lack the ability to travel to and from Plattsburgh or other satellite sites to our Center for services provided," Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie wrote in an email.

He said the mobile units will allow services like medical exams and counseling to be brought to a child victim of abuse or sexual abuse and their family when traveling to Plattsburgh or a satellite center is not an option.

Only one unit is being assigned to the Clinton County CAC to be used throughout the region in Essex County, Franklin County and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe areas. The state Office of Children and Family Services assigned the second unit to another area of the state, Wylie said.

In addition to the $250,000 for the purchase of the mobile unit, the state will pay $50,000 per year for three years to cover the operation and maintenance of the vehicle.

"It is anticipated that future funding will come from Office of Children Family Services and Office of Victim Services," Wylie wrote. "One of the functions of the C.A.C. is to seek out grant funding as the Center is grant fund based."

Currently, there is a primary care center in Plattsburgh, with satellite centers in the Franklin County, Essex County and St. Regis regions where services can be provided to a child or a family that are a victim of abuse.

The Plattsburgh and satellite centers are not law enforcement environments, Wylie said, providing a calmer environment for a child and family while agency members conduct interviews, medical exams or counseling.

The mobile unit is built to act as one of these centers on wheels - with a waiting area, a child-friendly interview room, an observation room, bathroom, and recording and observation equipment.

"The goal is to reduce trauma for the families by increasing their accessibility to services in these rural communities," the governor's office press release states.

Wylie said that although each satellite region has a CAC facility, having a mobile unit will allow CAC agency members to travel to remote areas to provide services.

"The mobile units will also be available for community outreach programs as well," Wylie wrote.



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