Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Presents $1 Million Grant for Northern Kentucky Child Advocacy Center

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 26, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Lanny Brannock

Pioneering facility will have much-needed new quarters in Florence

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today presented the cities of Florence and Fort Thomas with a $1 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the construction of much-needed new quarters for the Northern Kentucky Child Advocacy Center (NKCAC) at St. Luke Hospital West in Florence.

The center, which currently shares space with St. Luke Pediatric Center in a medical office building, was the first of its kind in Kentucky, treating children who have been victims of sexual and physical abuse or witnesses to violent crimes. The block grant covers the lion’s share of the project, which will cost $1,445,000.

“While we wish there was no need for a center to treat abused children, we know the need is great. This project will give those children who have suffered abuse a first-rate facility with the best possible care,” said Governor Fletcher. “This advocacy center represents a giant step forward for the treatment of abused children in Kentucky.”

“This center will help abused children from across northern Kentucky begin their road to recovery,” said Sen. Dick Roeding (R-Lakeside Park).

NKCAC began 20 years ago as Community Pediatric Clinic, a local initiative to aid victimized children. It was nationally accredited as a children’s advocacy center in 1993 and was the prototype for Kentucky’s current, statewide system of 15 centers. NKCAC was the first in the state to provide child sexual abuse medical exams, first to employ a forensic interviewer and remains the only such center in Kentucky that is hospital-based.

“As demand for these types of services rises, it is important to meet and exceed the needs of children who have suffered at the hands of others,” said Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger).

“Children recovering from abuse deserve nothing less than the best care and facilities that can be provided,” said Rep. Sal Santoro (R-Florence). “The center will have no rival in Kentucky for those types of services.”

“This is a proud day for Northern Kentucky,” said Rep. Addia Wuchner (R-Burlington). “The advocacy center will give abused children the best available care to recover and lead normal, productive lives.”

The 5,700-square-foot facility will be built on a 1.65-acre site contributed by St. Luke Hospital Inc.  The new center will include a private reception and family meeting area, medical exam rooms, a therapy room, victim interview room and an observation room.

The new facility will also provide medical services, forensic interviewing, crisis counseling, mental health services, court preparation, law enforcement training and public education.

"The St. Luke Hospitals are extremely grateful to the Governor's Office for awarding this grant for the Northern Kentucky Children's Advocacy Center," said Nancy Kremer, senior vice president of The St. Luke Hospitals.

In its history, NKCAC has served approximately 3,500 children in a space about a third the size of the new facility.

“The demand for forensic interviewing, medical examinations, advocacy and mental health services for child abuse victims and their families is increasing at a dramatic rate. Because of the increased number of professionals who utilize the center, the tremendous growth in population, and the increased demand for services, a larger facility is essential,” said Vicki Henderson, coordinator of the NKCAC.

In 1993, its first year of national accreditation, 180 children were seen and treated at NKCAC. That number increased to 530 in 2006. Once NKCAC is located in a larger facility, programming will expand to include mental health services, offering individual and group counseling and court school for the children whose cases will be going to trial.

“This community block grant provides the pivotal funding which makes a new facility for the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center a reality,” said Janice Way, vice president of the St. Luke Community Foundation.

Kentucky Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program has made the funding available nationally as well as within the commonwealth.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes these funds available through the Governor’s Office for Local Development.