Family Haven’s services not affected by loss of staff attorney
Exec. director says gossip fueled unneeded concerns
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

July 7, 2006 -- Family Haven officials confirmed Friday the agency is without a staff attorney and will be so until the end of July.

An abrupt change in operations last week left Family Haven, a crisis and resource center for victims of family violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes, without a staff attorney.

But Executive Director Betty Ellis Brown said Friday there has been and will be no change in services provided to clients.

"That status of the cases we have pending right now is that we have two attorneys on our board [of directors] who are reviewing the cases," she said.

Family Haven provides protective orders for people who are victims of domestic violence. With cases pending on court dockets, the absence of a staff attorney prompted unneeded concern from those awaiting court action, but Brown attributed those concerns to gossip.

"It ballooned," she said. "It is not unusual at all to have turnovers in non-profit agencies, and we have always handled the legal program and made a smooth transition. That is why we have attorneys on the board, if we are without an attorney for a week or two."

The executive director said the agency will have a new staff attorney on board by the end of the month.

Family Haven also provides emergency shelter and has staff on call 24 hours a day to handle emergency situations.

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