There are a lot of Guilford County initiatives that don’t turn out all that effective, but one program that got its start in Guilford County seven years ago has been doing work that is universally praised and has proven to be a model for other such programs around the country.
That’s the Guilford County Family Justice Center – which is now its own county department – and the Board of Commissioners will be celebrating the center at its Thursday, June 16 meeting.
The center is a “one-stop” site for victims of sexual abuse, elder abuse, rape and a lot of other victims who, before 2015, had to negotiate a maze of law enforcement, social services, justice system, medical providers and others to make their case, bring it to court or get a restraining order.
The county worked with the city of Greensboro and many local non-profits to make the dream a reality.
The Board of Commissioners also eventually approved a Family Justice Center office in High Point that can be found in the county courthouse in downtown High Point.
On June 16, the Board of Commissioners will pass a resolution recognizing the seventh anniversary of the Guilford County Family Justice Center. The resolution will be presented by Commissioner Kay Cashion, who was the county commissioner that had the most to do with the start of the center that opened in Greensboro on June 15, 2015, with “a mission to empower family violence victims to live free from violence and abuse, and hold offenders accountable by providing easily accessible, coordinated, and comprehensive services in a single location.”
The latest version of the center uses over 100 professionals from 18 disciplines who work together to offer consolidated care and legal advice to victims. It also offers victim advocacy; medical care, counseling; and, when needed, assistance finding shelter for displaced victims.
The resolution to be adopted Thursday night states in part “WHEREAS, some of the key accomplishments over the past seven years include, but are not limited to, the following: service to over 60,000 individuals and families, opening a second location in High Point, increased access to emergency legal assistance and mental health services, availability of electronic filing for restraining orders, the establishment of a specialized medical clinic for abused children, nationally recognized programming focused on reducing child trauma and elder abuse, and continued in-person operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic…
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GUILFORD COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS that it hereby recognizes the Guilford County Family Justice Center on its seventh anniversary and extends appreciation for the contributions FJC has made to the community over the past seven years.”