When children suffer abuse and neglect in Montana, Children's Advocacy Centers are there to help.

Dana Toole, Children's Justice Bureau Chief of the 10 Children's Advocacy Centers throughout the state said three more centers recently received re-accreditation with the National Children's Alliance.

"We have three centers in Montana that just achieved their national Children's Alliance accreditation, and with the seven we already had, that now makes 10 in Montana," Toole said. "Children's Advocacy Centers are places where children who have been victims of crime or abuse, either physical abuse or child sexual abuse can come where a team of professionals come to the center to help, rather than the children having to travel from place to place."

Toole said First Step in Missoula is a Children's Advocacy Center.

"First Step is one of our ten Children's Advocacy Centers," she said. "As a matter of fact, First Step just achieved re-accreditation about a year ago. The new Centers are in Hill County, the Bullhook County Health Center in Havre. The very first tribal advocacy center in in Wolf Point on the Fort Peck Reservation, called the Redbird Women's Center, and the Gallatin County Children's Advocacy Center is in Bozeman's Hearts and Homes Center."

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said he is proud of the multidisciplinary teams involved in helping child victims of abuse, including victim advocates, child protection workers, medical and mental health professionals, law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

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