The first New Hampshire Child Advocacy Center (CAC) opened its doors on the seacoast in Portsmouth in 2000. This center was aptly named the Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County. Given the success of the CAC of Rockingham County model, then Governor Craig Benson issued an executive order in July, 2003 to establish the Governor’s Commission for Child Protection. This Commission ultimately recommended the establishment of a statewide network of Child Advocacy Centers. Upon funding being secured to drive the initiative forward, counties throughout New Hampshire were eager to develop their own centers, and as of today, every county in New Hampshire has a CAC. The Merrimack County Child Advocacy Center was established in 2009, later dropping the “child” from the title in 2013 to reflect the desire and ability to serve adult victims as well.
Our mission is to strengthen and protect victims, families, and the community through a multidisciplinary team approach that emphasizes early intervention, coordinated investigations, and collaborative action plans. Our multidisciplinary team, built on the foundation of a collaborative and coordinated response system, works together to address reports of (including but not limited to) abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and trafficking of victims. Children as young as three years old and adults of all ages and development are interviewed at our center. Our specialized services range from social services to criminal justice system support, including partnerships with mental health and medical professionals. We provide forensic interviews, case management, and referrals to community partners. We also provide regular training opportunities to our multidisciplinary team members to ensure best practices.
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