When children report abuse, they are often sent on a dizzying and confusing journey to meet with numerous investigative and support agencies housed in various locations. Telling a story of abuse more than once can cause additional trauma and stress in a child as well as affect the quality of interviews. Onondaga County needed a child-centered place where abused children could go to receive all the investigative, medical, therapeutic, and support services they required in one place.
The McMahon/ Ryan Child Advocacy Center took up this cause and expanded to a new, larger location on East Fayette Street in Syracuse. The three-story historic building was renovated into a state-of-the-art facility that provides McMahon/Ryan with 10 times the space it had in its previous location, allowing multiple agencies to serve the needs of vulnerable victims under one roof. The interior, adorned with warm colors and fun design details, provides a welcoming atmosphere. Child-friendly furniture funded by a Community Foundation grant helps make the location comfortable for all visitors.
Child abuse is a complex community problem that requires the combined expertise and teamwork of a multidisciplinary coalition. The Center provides all of the necessary services in one safe space, improving response time and saving approximately $1,000 in expenses per child. Through collaboration, our community is better positioned to fight child abuse by facilitating prevention, investigation and treatment. Our most vulnerable victims deserve no less.