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Child advocate groups to unveil new center to fight abuse in 4 counties

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Posted at 12:19 PM, Nov 17, 2021

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. — Two groups are joining forces to unveil a one-stop facility to provide services designed to help fight child abuse and empower families in four counties.

Open Arms Child Advocacy Center (OACAC) and Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NCPCAN) are breaking ground on its new Center for Hope and Healing in White Cloud.

The 23,000-square-foot building will provide a safe and private environment for families in Newaygo, Mecosta, Osceola and Lake counties.

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Organizers say the Center for Hope and Healing will offer dedicated spaces for a range of services to prevent abuse and neglect.

Those services include:

  • Forensic interviews in child abuse investigations
  • Children’s rights education
  • Evidence-based safe sleep information
  • Play and reading areas for children
  • Summer activities programs
  • Meeting and gathering areas

The two organizations say the OACAC’s facility in Big Rapids and NCPCAN’s Newaygo facility are too small to accommodate the growing number of families or more abuse and neglect victims.

They also say the current facilities only offer minimal privacy and comfort to children.

The groundbreaking ceremony is happening Wednesday at 4 p.m. with the formal ceremony starting at 5 p.m.