ACCESS Hilltown service expansion introduces crime-victim caseworker

The ACCESS office

The ACCESS office is located at the old Foxenkill Grange Hall, at 1360 Helderberg Trail in Berne.

HILLTOWNS — To help crime victims, Albany County will be installing a new caseworker at the Albany County Center for Essential Supportive Services, known as ACCESS, office in Berne before the end of December. 

The caseworker has been hired and is currently undergoing training, according to Mary Rozak, spokeswoman for Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy; Rozak could not specify that person’s professional background. 

“The target [start-date] is early December, but it could be in the next couple weeks,” Rozak told The Enterprise. 

The caseworker will be able to “conduct intakes, connect victims with supportive and community services, provide crisis counseling and referrals as well as updates on court dispositions,” according to a release from McCoy’s office.

 The worker — whom Rozak confirmed will be staffed full time — will also make town court appearances as needed in Berne, Knox, Westerlo, Ravena, New Scotland, and Altamont.

The ACCESS office is located at the old Foxenkill Grange Hall, now a community center for seniors at 1360 Helderberg Trail in Berne.

At the same time, McCoy announced the County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence center will add a crime victim therapist for residents countywide. 

Both the caseworker and therapist positions are funded at least in part by a $100,00 grant from the New York State Office of Victim Services.

The number of child-on-child sexual assault victims in Albany’s emergency departments has doubled, the release said, a statistic which Rozak said comes from the Albany Medical Center. 

“We recognized there was a need,” Rozak told The Enterprise.

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