359 Ballston Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY | 518-587-8008 
cfb_2014_whiteMental Health CounselinigProtecting Children is Everyone's JobPrevention and Healing

Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center

The Child Advocacy Center is designed to be a neutral, child friendly location in which a comprehensive coordinated approach is taken in response to allegations of child abuse. The Center is a warm, caring environment that places the child’s needs first and provides one location to interview, examine and counsel abused children while preparing for prosecution of child abuse cases.

The Saratoga County Partnership for Safe Children works together to make decisions about investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse cases. The advantages to this approach are a reduction in the number of child victim interviews, prompt and ongoing services for the abused child and non-offending family members, more efficient mental health and medical services and enhanced evidence collection that benefits investigation and prosecution through improved response time, coordination and information sharing.

Child Advocacy Center Services

Pediatric Forensic Medical Exams – conducted by specially trained and certified MDs, NPs and RNs. Exams conducted by these highly qualified examiners provide support to the child and family. The exams may be conducted at the Child Advocacy Center or the Saratoga Hospital Emergency Room.

Victim Advocacy – is a program whose mission is to provide comprehensive specialized services for victims of sexual assault, violence, and physical abuse. Services include responding to the immediate needs of child crime victims and non-offending family members to reduce the severity of associated trauma, and provide education and support during the criminal justice process. Referrals are routinely made for other needed services.

Counseling Services – are available through Saratoga Center for the Family. Specially trained trauma focused therapists provide individual, family and group counseling for child victims and non-offending family members.

Forensic Interviews – are conducted by professional members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) who have received advanced training in child interviewing. The interviewer avoids questions that might be considered suggestive or coercive.

Children’s Advocacy Centers Make A Difference

  • CAC investigations are more likely to be conducted in a coordinated fashion
  • Children are more likely to receive a forensic medical examination if they are involved with a CAC (48 % vs. 21%)
  • Non-offending parents and caregivers exhibit higher satisfaction with the investigation
  • Children are more likely to receive a mental health referral
  • The CAC approach proves to be less expensive on a case-by-case basis

Saratoga County Partnership for Safe Children

The Saratoga Center for the Family (SCF) is the lead agency of the Saratoga County Partnership for Safe Children, the County’s legislated multi-disciplinary team (MDT). The MDT is comprised of specially trained professionals from county law enforcement, prosecution, social service, medical, and mental health agencies and disciplines.

The Saratoga County Partnership for Safe Children is the driving force behind the formation and continuation of the Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center. The multidisciplinary approach expedites the investigation and prosecution of those who offend against children, while providing a safe, child friendly, full service environment where these children can begin the healing process. The Partnership is designed to provide team collaboration on all child cases, thus assuring improved response time, coordination and information sharing.

The Partners are invested in the Center and its’ services to children. They provide many hours of meeting, consultation and service each month. The Center is the fruition of a dream long held by the Partnership.

Partnership for Safe Children

  • Attorney for the Child
  • CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services
  • Community Volunteers
  • Mechanicville Community Center Domestic Violence Program
  • New York State Police
  • Office of Saratoga County Attorney
  • Office of the Saratoga County District Attorney
  • Pediatric Forensic Medical Providers
  • Saratoga Center for the Family
  • Saratoga County Child Protective Services
  • Saratoga County EOC Head Start
  • Saratoga County Domestic Violence/Rape Crisis Services
  • Saratoga County Mental Health Clinic
  • Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department
  • Saratoga Hospital Saratoga Emergency Physicians, PC
  • Saratoga Springs Police Department
  • Saratoga Springs City School District
  • Shelters of Saratoga
  • Shenendehowa Central School District
  • Victim Advocacy Services of the FBI

* All police agencies in Saratoga County and surrounding areas are welcome to utilize Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center.