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NH Delegation Announces $800K in Trauma Support Services to Help Children Exposed to Substance Misuse

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance to the City of Manchester. This grant will support the Manchester Police Department’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team Enhancement (ACERT) Project, which provides services to children exposed to trauma, including substance use, domestic violence and sexual assault. ACERT consists of a comprehensive support network, including a police officer, a crisis services advocate and a community health worker who provide security, safety and support to victims of childhood trauma.

“The opioid epidemic affects every community in New Hampshire, and there are too many children facing trauma as a result of individuals and family members with substance use disorders in their homes,” said Shaheen. “As we work to turn the tide of the epidemic, it’s imperative that our community continue to have the resources necessary to help children who have been impacted by their loved ones’ substance misuse. I am pleased to announce federal funding for the ACERT program in Manchester, which will provide vulnerable youth with a support system to navigate the difficult obstacles they face at home, and ensure they have assistance to live happy and successful lives. Combating the opioid epidemic requires a multi-faceted approach, and I’ll keep fighting for additional resources so children throughout New Hampshire who have been affected by this crisis have the assistance they need and deserve.”

“The opioid epidemic has upended countless lives, including the lives of children who have suffered trauma from exposure to substance misuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault,” said Hassan. “It is critical that these children get the support they need so they can go on to lead successful, healthy lives, and I am pleased to announce this grant to help bolster Manchester Police’s ACERT program to better provide comprehensive support for our kids.” 

“Children who are dealing with traumatic experiences deserve all the help we can provide,” said Shea-Porter. “Our communities need more funding to help vulnerable children when the opioid epidemic or violence at home disrupts their lives. The ACERT program plays an important role in this effort by offering services that support young victims who have experienced trauma, and I am pleased that it will be getting this significant federal funding. Congress must keep working to ensure our communities have all the tools they need to protect children in the midst of this devastating epidemic.”

“People often forget that in addition to the adults who are directly experiencing traumas like addiction, domestic violence or sexual assault, children who witness these behaviors are major victims as well,” said Kuster. “These grants will help kids who are struggling with trauma in their lives get the care they need to cope, heal and grow into healthy, thriving and contributing adults. It is a win-win for the children receiving care, for their families, and our state as a whole.”