Nicole Richardi

Nicole Richardi

Nicole Richardi currently serves as Vice Chair for the MACA Board of Directors. She has held various roles within the child advocacy field, starting as a Victim Witness Advocate just weeks out of college, and moving her way up to become the Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Plymouth County.

“Somehow I always knew that I wanted to work with survivors of crime since I was a child, which is kind of interesting and I’m not sure how or why that is, but that’s just how I was,” Richardi said.

One of the most meaningful roles Richardi held in her career was being a forensic interviewer. Throughout her seven years in this role, she interviewed approximately 1,500 children and coordinated the multidisciplinary team (MDT) of professionals who were conducting child abuse investigations.

Richardi added, “One of the most humbling and rewarding experiences is speaking to a child who has to trust you enough to share their most guarded and sensitive experiences. Then, you get to look them in the eye immediately after and tell them that you believe them, and almost every time you could see the weight just lift from their body.”

As a director, growing the center’s program and ensuring the center was at the cutting edge of training, research, education, and promoting a trauma-focused approach in Plymouth County was especially important. Training remains one of the cornerstones of Richardi’s work as director.

Richardi trained thousands of professionals in her county on recognizing, reporting, and responding to child abuse. This local initiative led Richardi to serve as co-chair on the MACA Child Abuse Prevention Curriculum Development Committee, creating what is now the Recognizing and Responding to Child Abuse curriculum that is used to train and educate professionals across Massachusetts.

Richardi has seen the CAC movement evolve as well as strengthen its response to child abuse and exploitation throughout her career. “The innovation and expansion of CACs is unbelievable. Particularly as a board member, it’s one of my favorite things to get to hear about the creative programs that all of the CACs in Massachusetts are implementing,” Richardi explained.

Particularly with the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), a paradigm shift has taken place over the years. “I don’t even know that that term existed [CSEC], and over time, I was able to watch as the movement changed the landscape of how exploitation victims were viewed, and oftentimes, from criminal to survivor.”

Richardi has had the unique opportunity to see her career come full circle. Although she no longer directly works within the child advocacy field, Richardi feels as though she never really left.

“I feel just as passionate about the cause as when I first started. Supporting MACA and the work that CACs do every day is incredibly meaningful. The legislative work, the advocacy, the education, the training, all of these things are absolutely critical and make an enormous impact on children in this state and throughout the country,” Richardi said.

Richardi remains committed to supporting victims of child abuse, but now on a statewide level while serving on MACA’s Board of Directors.

“It’s just unbelievable. The dedication and the tenacity are unparalleled. MACA has always from the very beginning been a trailblazer on so many initiatives. I felt like joining the board was such a perfect way for me to continue to give back,” Richardi added.

“It is the highest privilege to serve as a board member. I feel so incredibly privileged and fortunate that I get to feel like I’m making an impact on child abuse from a different vantage point.”

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