The Guilford County Family Justice Center has been awarded a grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission to the tune of $189,000. The money is meant to help the county’s justice center be more effective in fighting child abuse and elder abuse. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to accept the grant at their next meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13.
Guilford County opened a family justice center in downtown Greensboro in 2015 and, this fall it opened a second justice center in the Guilford County Courthouse – High Point to help serve the needs of those in southwestern Guilford County. The two centers are meant to be “one-stop” help access points for victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse and similar crimes.
This new money from the state will help fund a child trauma specialist and an elder justice specialist to serve the two centers. The Board of Commissioners is expected to add those two positions to the Family Justice Center’s operations on Thursday night when it accepts the grant.
Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Alan Branson said there may be a similar grant to fund an additional year of the positions following this one but said that, after two years, the money is likely to dry up.
A letter from NC Governor Roy Cooper to Family Justice Center Director Catherine Johnson stated that the Crime Commission members spent “countless hours considering each application in an effort to select the programs that will best serve the residents of the state.” The letter congratulated Johnson and the justice center staff for their hard work and their commitment to a very important cause.
In the three and half years since Guilford County – along with the City of Greensboro – opened the county’s first Family Justice Center at 201 S. Greene St., the service has been considered a major success and has been honored and lauded statewide and nationally. It has even been praised by some county commissioners who initially were very skeptical whether it would be successful.
County officials are hoping the new High Point center will be equally as effective and the grant and the positions it funds are expected to help in that regard.