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February 2014 The Caledonia County Special Investigations Unit and Child Advocacy Center

With all that current director Fred Saar and his team have accomplished, it’s hard to believe the Caledonia County Special Investigations Unit and Children’s Advocacy Center (CCSIU/CAC) is really still in its infancy and was only formed in early 2011. Fred has worked diligently to not only get this program off the ground, but to flourish. Fred Saar came to the Caledonia Special Investigations Unit in late 2011. Using his vast experience in business and finance as well as his analytical skills, Fred has accomplished an extraordinary amount in very little time.

In 2012, after several months of planning, the unit embarked on a one-year plan to integrate NCAtrak into the case tracking process; NCAtrak is a computerized, web-based case tracking system developed to help child advocacy centers track case specific information in a user-friendly manner. Other tasks the group had on their list were to identify interim space for the SIU, build partner relationships and to apply for membership in the National Children’s Alliance.

Fred and the board got right to work to ensure a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) was not only formed, but also engaged and invested. Their goal was to actually develop a child advocacy center (CAC) and not “just fill out the paperwork and proclaim victory”. There was significant commitment within the board to establish a CAC which provided support for the agencies investigating cases of child abuse as well as providing on-going support for the victims and their caregivers.

2013 was a big year for the CCSIU/CAC. In January they transitioned from being able to use the North East Kingdom Special Investigations Unit’s NCAtrak system to obtaining their own separate license for NCAtrak. Not only did Fred and his team identify interim space, in September of 2013, they moved from that interim space into permanent office space at 36 Eastern Avenue in St. in Johnsbury. Pictured above are the children’s room and waiting room. And in December of 2013, the CCSIU/CAC was granted Associate Membership with the National Children’s Alliance.

2014 is off to a great start. A logo design contest was posed to St. Johnsbury Academy and Lyndon Institute students, and a new logo was chosen from 36 submissions. Academy Junior Kristi Hannett won the contest and was awarded a prize of $250 for her successful design. Hannett based her design on simple wooden children’s building blocks, using primary colors with one block showing the outline of the state of Vermont. What a great way to not only get a fantastic logo, but to also bring awareness of the CCSIU/CAC to area students and families.

L-R:) Lisa Warren, Caledonia County State’s Attorney; Academy Junior Kristi Hannett, winner of the CCAC logo contest; and Fred Saar, Executive Director, CCSIU/CAC

It should also be noted that Fred is not only the director of the Caledonia County Special Investigations Unit and Children’s Advocacy Center; he is also the director of the Addison County Unit for Special Investigations. Great things are going on in Addison County as well; they just achieved Associate Membership with the National Children’s Alliance in February, 2014. Congratulations! More about Addison County in a future Spotlight.


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