Funding loss stops program that helps traumatized children

Posted August 9, 2013

— It takes her a second to remember the exact date, but Linda Sanders will never forget what happened at her daughter’s home on Oct. 30, 2011.

“My daughter got shot,” she said. “Well, my daughter got killed.”

Police said Sanders’ daughter, Simeka Daughtridge, was shot and killed by her husband while her three children were in the home.

The murder left Sanders responsible for her grandchildren, all traumatized by their mother's death. She had no clue where to turn until Durham police and the North Carolina Children's Response Initiative stepped in.

Simeka Daughtridge Trauma aid for children loses state funds

“It’s basically a mental health and law enforcement partnership in order to meet the needs and assess children who have been affected by trauma,” said Karen Carmody, a former program director for the NCCRI program.

The initiative was funded by the North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission from 2005 until this year. Without the $275,000 from the commission, the organization was forced to close its doors July 1.

In an email, L. David Huffman, the commission's executive director, said the group’s “application did fall short of the funding cutoff line. This project seemed to meet criteria but was among a very competitive group of proposals.”

The North Carolina Children’s Response Initiative was born out of the law enforcement strategy known as “community policing,” which takes a collaborative, personal approach to tackling crime and the problems that stem from it. Durham officers who worked with the initiative developed one-on-one relationships with families and children who have experienced trauma.

Sgt. David Piatt says it has changed the way he approaches his job.

“We include the children in our reports now, not just as a victim or a suspect but as being present – so we can follow up with them,” he said.

Sanders worries what the shut-down will mean for families like hers.

“You don’t really know where to go to get help, and they’re reaching out a hand to help someone like me to cope,” she said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • MonkeyFace Aug 12, 2013

    i had to go through some thing like this when i lost my mom... but it was done under my dad's insurance

  • stymieindurham Aug 9, 2013

    Why not research which programs were deamed more important that this one and start the criticism there rather than throwing out baseless theories? I'd like to know which programs weere more important.

  • stymieindurham Aug 9, 2013

    Common sense based upon news reports - THAT's IT?!!!!!

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 9, 2013

    Stymie - "Would you rather help pay for their counseling now or for their jail time later?"

    Common sense based on news reports.


  • stymieindurham Aug 9, 2013

    "Would you rather help pay for their counseling now or for their jail time later?"

    What is this based upon?

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 9, 2013

    whatelse - "Why would this lady not go to a local church?"

    What makes you think this person goes to a church?

    Plus, there are many many churches (shamefully) who will not help non-members.

  • caryzoo Aug 9, 2013

    The state gets worse and worse for our families...our children. I know that church members may not have a license, be fully trained to deal with trauma. What I question is where are they supposed to go for ANY help? Many do not have, because they cannot afford..insurance. Many HAVE insurance but cannot afford the co-payments for mental health care(60-100 a visit).
    Just a question for claudnc..would you rather do nothing...or something?
    I made 25 K a year. Insurance took 5k of it. I could NOT afford the co-payments for mental health care, 50 for each child each week. Times 3.
    Victims in our society should be treated with respect, dignity, and real help to overcome the trauma they have witnessed. Shame on the state for cutting funding. It is, from a 60 year old's viewpoint,the way the Republicans play. Every man, woman, child...for themselves. They never REALLY helped, and never will. Just their view. I find it against everything Jesus did for us, what we do for others is a big part.

  • claudnc Aug 9, 2013

    Whatelseisnew.. I would rather take my child to a program where the staff is fully licensed, trained and capable of assisting someone dealing with a traumatic experience.. Church members don't have to meet this requirement in their quest to assist.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 9, 2013

    Wonderful! < sarcasm >
    Once again, another program that helps children goes away.

    Diana - These traumatized children often grow up into problem adults if they aren't helped when they're young. Would you rather help pay for their counseling now or for their jail time later?

  • whatelseisnew Aug 9, 2013

    Why would this lady not go to a local church? I am quite sure they could assist her in finding counseling services for herself and her children. It just amazes me how people pretend to be utterly helpless unless some Government agency pops up in their doorways. Nothing wrong with this program, but when are people going to show some level of self-reliance?