Child Advocacy Centers: Jane Barker

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Our journey to provide a comprehensive response to child abuse victims began in 1991 with the pioneering work of Jane Barker. Through her collaborative work with partner agencies, the Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center opened its doors in 1996.

About Jane Barker (1949 – 2003) 

From the moment Jane Barker joined Safe Horizon in 1987, she championed a more thoughtful, personalized approach to helping victims of abuse. She left her imprint on nearly every program in the organization, infusing them with her innovative ideas and a standard of excellence. She founded Safe Horizon's Counseling Center in 1988 and then turned her focus to helping child abuse victims.

At the time, child abuse victims needed to tell their stories multiple times; forcing them to relive their traumatic experiences. Studies showed that this created undue stress on the child abuse victim and hindered their recovery process.

The Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center

Jane wanted to reduce the trauma that child victims faced by providing a coordinated effort on behalf of the agencies that handled child abuse investigations.

This unique approach brought together a team of professionals representing law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, medical, mental health and victim advocates all working together in a child-friendly facility to investigate and respond to the most serious cases of child abuse.

Jane's pioneering efforts earned her the 1999 Professional Leadership Award from the National Children's Alliance. And when she passed away in 2003, the Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center was renamed in her honor.

The Child Advocacy Center after Jane Barker

Today, the Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center is one of the nation's highest volume Centers, working with more than 2,000 child victims each year. This fully co-located Center now exemplifies what the National Children’s Alliance refers to as “the gold standard of Child Advocacy Centers” with all partner agencies housed together in one child friendly facility.

Safe Horizon Child Advocacy Center Timeline

  • 1996 - The Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center opens in New York City, becoming the first fully co-located center in the nation.
  • 1998 - The Staten Island Child Advocacy Center opens.
  • 2003 - The Queens Child Advocacy Center opens.
  • 2003 - The Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center is renamed the Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center.
  • 2006 - Safe Horizon leads the effort to include Child Advocacy Centers in the New York State laws governing response to child abuse and treatment of young victims.
  • 2009 - The Manhattan Child Advocacy Center opens.
  • 2015 - The Bronx Child Advocacy Center opens.

More about our Child Advocacy Centers

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Safe Horizon's mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities.
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