Unique Approach At Project Harmony To Protect Children From Abuse

One look at the conditions and you wonder how anybody could live there..

Actually it's not a residence at all but an elaborate stage set that is used at Project Harmony to help train professionals who work to protect children from abuse.

Omaha Police Sergeant Lance Worley investigates child abuse cases and he shares his expertise on stage at Project Harmony by acting out various scenarios that professionals might encounter on the job.

Worley told Channel 6 News, "Children are kind of our most innocent victims in our society who we are working for them."

With a knock on the stage screen door, Worley began the process of interviewing an actor portraying a five year old in a suspected child abuse situation.

Later, the defensive father of the child arrived on the scene and during a contentious interview with the detective, the single father admitted that he had not been home for two nights.

Through the entire presentation, the audience of professionals from various agencies viewed the procedure and came to the conclusion that there were several suspects of child abuse.

Joe Bauer works at Boys Town as an Intervention Supervisor and he told Channel 6, " "Seeing the collaboration that has to take place with law enforcement and all the other agencies in these abuse cases has given me a lot of perspective."

For Tracy Epps it was training she said she wish she had received ten months earlier when she first started her job.

She told Channel 6 News, "That first dirty home that I went into I probably would have acted a little bit differently, the minute that kid told me they had fleas in the house I would have reacted differently.

The stage, which includes a revolving mechanism to quickly change scenes, is used twice a week at Project Harmony for training.

Project Harmony is located at 120th and Q in Omaha and it's stated mission, "is to protect and support children, collaborate with professionals and engage the community to end child abuse and neglect.

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