Forsyth County Government has hired DeWanna Thomas Hamlin as the director of the county’s Family Justice Center.

Family Justice Center will be a one-stop location designed to serve those impacted by interpersonal violence including intimate partner violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder or dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking. The county is currently transitioning the Safe on Seven Domestic Violence Center to the nationally recognized Family Justice Center model where services and support will be provided by many partner agencies.

Hamlin has more than 20 years of experience addressing interpersonal violence in many forms. She worked at Family Services for many years and is currently employed at Wake Forest School of Medicine. She will begin her new position on July 20 and will be a part of the planning and implementation of the center, which is scheduled to open in late 2020 or early 2021.

“The Family Justice Center reflects the strength of Forsyth County’s community partnerships and collaborative spirit,” said Hamlin. “I am honored and excited to serve alongside community members that align with the vision of establishing the center, a place of healing and hope. This center, tailored to the unique needs of Forsyth County, is founded on the best-practice principles committed to safety, accountability, and equitable provision of services to everyone impacted by interpersonal violence. I am committed to working with the community partners to ensure that there are opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive in an environment that is nurturing, empowering, and free from judgment for all families.”

The center has been in the planning stages for the last two years with stakeholders’ meetings that have included Forsyth County Government, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Family Services, the District Attorney’s Office, the clerk of Court’s Office, the Superior Court District 21 Office, Winston-Salem Police Department, Kernersville Police Department, the Children’s Law Center, Parenting Path, Legal Aid, and survivors.

The Family Justice Center will be a county department with five full-time positions. In addition to the director, the county will hire a client services coordinator,  two navigators, and an office assistant for the center.

It will be located in the same location as Safe on Seven, which is at 725 Highland Avenue. Safe on Seven is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, offering services for those experiencing domestic violence, and can be reached at 336-776-3255. The 24-Hour Family Services Domestic Violence Crisis Line is 336-723-8125.

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