Local program helps hundreds of children affected by violence

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro Child Response Initiative Program continues to help hundreds of families exposed to trauma and violence thanks to continued funding.

Monday’s Public Safety Committee meeting by Greensboro City Council allotted $50,000 of $250,000 in funding for the therapeutic program. The remainder is funded by federal dollars.

Mandy Ireland is one of the child advocates that help connect families and children with basic needs, community resources, counseling and therapeutic services.

“Over about a three-month period of this year, we have interacted or received referrals for 600 children and adults here in Greensboro who have been exposed to trauma, or traumatic events or violence,” Ireland said.

Domestic violence is the highest category of violence the children are affected by.

The services are voluntary but are made possible by a joint effort from the officers who may be the first to respond to the family.

“The support that we’ve gotten from the Greensboro Police Department also lets us know that the police department and law enforcement really do care and they are committed to wanting to help families that they encounter,” Ireland said.

Deputy Chief James Hinson said often times the officers that first respond to the call of service assists the advocates in follow-ups with families.

Hinson said the services offered help to cut the cycle of crime within the family.

“What we want to also do is when you look at that healing process is break that cycle because we don’t want some of these young families or children to think that that’s just a way of life, because violence occurring is not a way of life,” Hinson said.