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Nonprofits Serving New Hampshire’s Abused Children Merge to Assure Continued Care for Kids

Nashua, NHJanuary 16, 2012 — Victims of child abuse in Southern New Hampshire will continue to receive the high quality, coordinated services of their local child advocacy centers thanks to the recent merger of Hillsborough County Child Advocacy Center, Greater Lakes Child Advocacy Center, Monadnock Region Child Advocacy Center and New Hampshire Network of Child Advocacy Centers. The new entity, Granite State Children’s Alliance, operates four child advocacy centers in Belknap, Cheshire and Hillsborough Counties, and is the State Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance, providing technical assistance, training, and organizational resources to all child advocacy centers across New Hampshire.

Leaders of the Granite State Children’s Alliance believe joining forces gives them strength in a challenging economy for nonprofits. “Charities have been forced to do more with less,” said Kristie Palestino, Executive Director of the newly combined entity. “This merger gives us economies of scale, reducing our combined costs and allowing us to fundraise more effectively.”

Based on a nationally recognized model, child advocacy centers are community partnerships dedicated to a team approach for pursuing the truth in child abuse cases and providing social services to child victims. “Every abused child in New Hampshire deserves access to a child advocacy center,” said Dan Monfried, president of the Granite State Children’s Alliance board of directors,

“but the economy has been especially hard on non-profits in the state’s less populous counties.”

He added, “This is about neighbors helping neighbors, doing what is right for kids in need.”

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney, an honorary board member of the Granite State Children’s Alliance, explained, “New Hampshire’s child advocacy centers perform a critical function for child victims, their families and the greater community.” He added, “Child advocacy centers help break the cycle of child abuse by improving prosecution rates of abusers and putting their victims on a sustainable path to healing.”

National estimates are that one-in-four girls and one-in-six boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18. By bringing together New Hampshire’s law enforcement, county attorneys, state protective services, victim advocacy agencies and health professionals, child advocacy centers provide safe, child friendly locations for interviewing child victims, coordinating the investigative team and providing ongoing help for the victim’s recovery.

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For additional information on the Granite State Children’s Alliance, child abuse or related subjects, contact Kristie Palestino at (603) 498-8909 or kpalestino@cac-nh.org.