Phoenix to get new center for abused, at-risk youth



Posted on February 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 15 at 1:20 PM

PHOENIX -- Phoenix will soon have a new advocacy center for child abuse victims and other at-risk youth.

Childhelp, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping such children, and officials with the city of Phoenix and Maricopa County announced Friday that the center will be built on Central Avenue.

The center will provide therapy rooms, play spaces and quiet areas for children who have been abused or neglected.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery worked with partners at Childhelp to create the new program, according to Childhelp Co-founder and CEO Sara O’Meara.

"It just means everything for us to work together and to see that more and more children are cared for properly," O’Meara said.

Stanton said the center is part of Childhelp’s new campaign for “building dreams and creating a foundation of safety and love for Arizona’s abused children."

Recent reports have indicated that thousands of cases of alleged child abuse and neglect went uninvestigated by Arizona Child Protective Services, illustrating the extent of abuse in Arizona.

"Today, we’re highlighting a bright spot in efforts to help children who have been abused or neglected in Arizona’s child welfare system," Montgomery said.

Childhelp currently operates the Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona in downtown Phoenix.

The new center is scheduled to open in April.