Tri-County Arts Council gives art supplies

From left, John Bartmole and Mikel Wintermantel, co-executive directors of the Tri-County Arts Council, and David Chamberlain, program manager for the Southern Tier Child Advocacy Center, are shown with art supplies donated by the council to be given to children who have suffered abuse.

OLEAN — The Southern Tier Child Advocacy Center accepted a gift from the Tri-County Arts Council of art supplies for children who have suffered from suspected abuse.

It is hoped the art supplies can help provide comfort to children going through stressful and painful times.

“Exposure to maltreatment or violence can disrupt the course of physical, emotional, and intellectual development in children and adolescents,”said David Chambers, Southern Tier Child Advocacy Center program manager.

He said the risks associated with maltreatment include alterations in a child and adolescent’s physical health, impaired psychosocial functioning, mental health conditions, and changes in brain architecture.

A program of the Allegany County Department of Social Services, the Southern Tier Child Advocacy Center serves children and non-offending caregivers in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.

Through a collaboration with local law enforcement, child protective services, the district attorney’s offices, probation and other offices in both counties, the center helps families by providing a safe environment where interviews are conducted by specialized forensic interviewers under the supervision of partnering investigators.

“Each investigation is videotaped to allow children the opportunity to share their story once and reduce the trauma of having to relive their abuse repeatedly. Families are provided case management, family advocacy and mental health services at the Center or in their community,” Chambers said.

The Tri-County Arts Council programs and services are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature.

Additional support comes from the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, community business sponsors and private memberships and donations.

“Art is a healthy outlet for children to begin healing after their abuse,” said John Bartomole, co-executive director of the Tri-County Arts Council.

For further information about the Southern Tier Child Advocacy Center, or to learn of ways that you can support their efforts, call (716) 372-8532.