BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City agencies are sharing expertise and office space to provide services to child victims of trauma and violence. Pat warren reports on a new effort to help kids heal.
In this WJZ investigation three year old Kendell Brackenbow’s mother tells Denise Koch about her child caught in crossfire.
“She said mom did I get s-h-o-t, I’m spelling it, but mom did I get shot and I just burst into tears because – that’s not a question that a three-year-old should ask anyone.”
The damage to her leg will be a constant reminder. City police tell WJZ since 2014 more than 100 children have survived gunshots.
Those survivors and all children affected by violence, trauma, and abuse, need attention, and many may find it here, at the new Baltimore child abuse center.
What kind of long term effect does crime have on children and what does that mean for the future of crime in the city?
“I think any trauma that crime has on young people is trauma that probably lasts a lifetime and tat’s why it’s so important for us to engage our youngest victims of violence the way we’re doing it here, whether they’re victims or witnesses,” says Baltimore City Police commissioner Kevin Davis.
The building currently occupied by the city police child abuse unit is expanding to include other agencies dedicated to intervention, treatment and support services to children and families.
“When we are able to do these services together we create efficiencies both in time as well as cost,” says Adam Rosenberg with Baltimore Child Abuse Center.
And studies find this kind of approach creates a better environment for the children.
In the coming months and years, partner agencies will combine to create new teams to help the children of the city cope with violence. The center is supported with nearly three million dollars in federal grants.