Children’s Justice Center New Director Brings Legal And Victim Advocacy Experience To Role
New Director Christie Hind began her legal work in New York working on behalf of Burmese victims of sex trafficking. She then moved to L.A. where she clerked for a federal judge, worked in major law firms and handled guardian ad litem cases in Children’s Court.
“It’s something that I promised myself I would come back to in my later days." Hind continued, "So, having moved to Park City I’ve been looking for a meaningful experience. A way to serve the community and come back to my not-for-profit roots. Working for Summit County has been my dream since I moved here. I’m very very lucky that this position became open and that I got this opportunity to serve families across Summit County.”
Hind explains what the children’s justice center does.
“The Children’s Justice Center is really there to coordinate what is known as a multi-team response." Hind expalined, "We get experts from all over the field to come in and weigh-in and investigate thoroughly allegations of child abuse. The centers were set-up 30 years ago in order to coordinate a response. Historically kids, and families, were dragged across the different agencies and were really put through secondary trauma. CJC and Children’s Advocacy Centers, as their known across the country, are really in response to creating a place where you don’t have secondary trauma and where you have better outcomes.”
Hind was chosen from about 30 candidates, she says that her experience as a lawyer should help with her new duties.
“I think it’s a quasi-legal position." Hind said, "It wasn’t something that was required of the job. I think that having 25 years’ experience handling investigations and more importantly collaborating with teams of experts, is really what I think is going to be helpful to the job. It’s something that I think that Summit County and their advisory board valued.”
The Children’s Justice Center is also moving into a new space. They purchased a home known as the ‘Zebra house’ where the former owners had a petting zoo. Hind says that the new building has a bit of work to do to be ready for children.
“There is a not-for-profit organization, the Community for Children’s Justice, who supports our work." Hind explained, "They have secured the space, it is something that is just about secured, we close I think in a couple of week’s time. That will be the new space, what’s known as the Zebra House. It will need significant retrofitting in order to create the safe, child friendly campus. ADA compliance for example will have to be a big part of the retrofit. We’re hopeful that with some additional and significant fundraising, alongside the not-for-profit, we’ll be able to get that building up and running in the new year.”
Although Hind is the only full-time employee with the center, she says she’s grateful to have the support of volunteers, the county and the community. She says she hopes to make the new center a standard for other centers.
“I believe and for sure the Community for Children’s Justice believe that we can have a center by which all centers are judged." Hind Continued, "What I mean by that is a center that can offer really expanded services. So, while we’re very anxious to get up and running and to continue our important daily work—which we do continue to do in our temporary space—I think the long term, or longer term vision is to really be able to provide exceptional services that are even outside of what we’re able to do today.”
The Children’s Justice Center is holding a community open house on October 27th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The property is on Silver Summit Parkway and is near the southbound Highway 40 ramp. For more information you can visit Summit County’s website.