In 2014 the Granite State Children’s Alliance, the Chapter organization for the 11 New Hampshire Child Advocacy Centers had a small staff with big dreams. There were one and a half employees; The Executive Director and a part-time Outreach and Education Coordinator.
When two toddlers died in relatively short time in two major cities in the Granite State, child advocates across the state demanded meaningful change. A thorough review and improvement process ensued for all service providers. We were left to reflect and review our role as the Chapter for New Hampshire CACs. We are part of the system that responds to reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.
Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) are at the forefront of responding to reports of child abuse and neglect. More than 80 percent of forensic interviews at a CAC involved reports or suspicions of child sexual abuse. We realized that often when a child was interviewed at the CAC, that they had told an adult months before. Often confused as to why it took so long to come to the CAC to talk about it. What took so long? How can we do better to meet the needs of all the children who need a forensic interview at the CAC.
We looked inward and asked, “What are we doing to raise awareness about child abuse and CACs?” “Why don’t CACs have a single unifying message?” “How are we educating the community about our important work and identifying when a child may need help?” and “How can we improve access to CACs for children who need us?”
KNOW & TELL was born at a kitchen table in Bedford in 2015 during a conversation between two friends. Parents, active community members and engaged stakeholders; one a longtime advocate for children and the other a seasoned marketing expert. Back then, KNOW & TELL was more of a “slogan” for general CAC awareness. Over the years, the broad awareness campaign has been shaped and crafted to become a training and professional development program for all adults in the Granite State.
On April 20th, 2016, The Granite State Children’s Alliance (GSCA) took our appeal to the State House in Concord, NH where Governor Hassan has proclaimed it KNOW & TELL day. (Click here to watch the WMUR coverage of the event). She encouraged all Granite Staters to KNOW & TELL, to say something when an adult may see something to protect our children.
In 2018, KNOW & TELL hired it’s first full time employee responsible for growing the program. During this time, the messaging and the program itself became more refined. KNOW & TELL is based on three pillars; EDUCATE. INFORM. PROTECT. In 2020, we added another full time staff person due to the incredible demand for programs.
We believe that it is a collective responsibility to be the difference for a child. We can all KNOW the signs of child abuse and TELL responsible authorities.