The History of New Hope

New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center formed as a result of the 1985 Tennessee Sexual Abuse Law, which mandated that the district attorney, Department of Children’s Services, law enforcement, medical personnel and mental health professionals work together in the intervention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, and to provide counseling to assist the child victim overcome the trauma of the abuse.

The New Hope Task Force, comprised of local professionals and community volunteers, recognized that children were often re-traumatized by the very system designated to help them.  In 2000, the Task Force set out to create a child-friendly, home-like setting based on the national model of Children’s Advocacy Centers located in Huntsville, Alabama. Like the national model, New Hope is a private not-for-profit agency that facilitates the teamwork essential for effective intervention and healing.  

Involved in that initial Task Force were:

  • Donna Alexander
  • Bobbie Beckmann
  • Allen Bray
  • Beverly Collins
  • Kay Everett
  • Judy Humphrey
  • Hope Ingram
  • Margaret Ivens
  • Jules McCord
  • Linda Pucci
  • Bill Reed
  • Beckie Timmons

There are more than 500 Children’s Advocacy Centers worldwide, and more than 300 of those are connected via accreditation through the National Children’s Alliance, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to assist communities seeking to improve their responses to child abuse by establishing and maintaining Children’s Advocacy Centers.

In Tennessee, there are 46 centers connected via membership with the Tennessee Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Both state and national organizations maintain membership standards, which all centers must meet and maintain.

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