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Greensboro Child Response Initiative helps more than 10,000

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Since 2008, Greensboro has had a Child Response Initiative, also known as CRI and in the last eight years the program has helped more than 10,000 children and families.

After a violent crime or traumatic event is investigated, patrol officers will signal to an advocate that a child was present. Advocates then make sure the family has whatever assistance they may need.

"We see children who suffer very, very regularly in the course of our work and as a cop there are some things that are at our liberty to help people with and there are some things that aren't; that are just beyond the scope and purview of what you do," said Sgt. Ryan Todd with the Greensboro Police Department.

There are four CRI advocates within the city and each of them works directly with patrol officers. Mandy Ward is the lead advocate and says helping kids in tough circumstances can keep them from being involved in crimes in the future.

"The idea is that if we can intervene early and help get these children and these families because we know it's a whole family, the help that they need that those long term negative effects won't happen," Ward said.

Kelly Graves is one of the founders of the Kellin Foundation and helped start the CRI in Greensboro. The Kellin Foundation is a nonprofit that runs the program in coordination with Greensboro police and many partner agencies.

"It's humbling to think about when you have a really great idea that is seeded within the right soil to help people it's amazing the growth that can be cultivated within that when you have the power of synergy and partnerships in place," Kelly said.

The Kellin Foundation also helps adults find counseling and psychological resources.