Newsbrief February 20

by Laura Turner

Greensboro, N.C., Expands Child Response Initiative

The Greensboro Child Response Initiative (G-CRI) has added a second child advocate to provide early intervention services to young people and families who witness or are victims of violence.

Since G-CRI began as a pilot program implemented by Family Service of the Piedmont in the summer of 2008, the city police department has referred more than 1,600 children and families, most of whom were witnesses or victims of domestic violence and assault. The average age of clients is between 13 and 14 years old.

G-CRI is a partnership led by the police department and North Carolina A&T State University Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness. The initiative brings together law enforcement, medical and academic institutions, mental health providers, juvenile justice professionals, child protective services and other advocates to bring a coordinated community effort to heal the wounds created by exposure to violence and trauma.

It mirrors a national model of community policing and agency collaboration that has proven effective in changing the way that care has traditionally been provided to the most vulnerable residents - children. Greensboro is the eighteenth city in the nation to adopt this model, which was developed at the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence.

G-CRI coordinates the Guilford County Trauma Provider Network, a network of 10 mental health providers and 30 community-based agencies that meets monthly with Greensboro police to work toward addressing the needs of children and families exposed to violence and trauma.

The team is expanding to add a parent support group component to the list of available services and would like to have an advocate in each police patrol division.

 Public Information Officer Susan Danielsen at (336) 574-4002 or