Children’s Connection

Children's Connection is a nationally accredited child advocacy center at the forefront of addressing the complex issues of child sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, and human trafficking. We are proud to have met the highest standards set forth by the National Children's Alliance, making us one of the ten fully accredited child advocacy centers in the state of Connecticut. At Children's Connection, we bring together public and private agencies to create an immediate, child-friendly, and culturally competent continuum of care, wrapping around children and their families when they need it the most. Through the incredibly generous support of individual and corporate donors as well as state grants, the program has advocated for physically and sexually abused children and their families for over 35 years.

Kari Pesavento

Program Director

Kari Pesavento

Kari Pesavento, the dedicated Director of Children’s Connection, brings nearly two decades of invaluable experience in crisis intervention to her role. Her professional journey commenced at an in-patient treatment facility focusing on individuals grappling with mental health and addiction challenges. Subsequently, she assumed the pivotal role of Director of Operations at The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education.

In her current capacity, Kari oversees the day-to-day operations and case management at Children’s Connection. Drawing on her extensive expertise in legal frameworks and child protection systems, coupled with her compassionate nature, Kari fosters a supportive environment that puts families at ease. Her adeptness at collaboration is evident in her facilitation of seamless teamwork among Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) members.

Beyond her direct responsibilities, Kari plays a crucial role in community education through the SCAN program, conducting informative trainings. Her commitment to the field extends to her position on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Children’s Alliance, where she actively contributes to strategic decision-making. Furthermore, Kari serves as an appointed member of the Governor’s Task Force for Justice of Abused Children’s Multidisciplinary Team Evaluation Committee, demonstrating her dedication to advocating for justice and the well-being of abused children.

With Kari Pesavento at the helm, Children’s Connection benefits from a leader whose wealth of experience, compassionate approach, and collaborative spirit significantly impact the organization’s mission and effectiveness in serving the community.


A Comprehensive Approach

As a fully accredited Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC, Children's Connection is part of a nationwide network of over 925 child advocacy centers, employing an evidence-based model to provide a comprehensive, immediate, and culturally competent response to child abuse cases. We coordinate investigations and treatment, minimizing the stress and trauma experienced by child victims and their families. Children’s Connection offers a secure, child-friendly haven for children of all ages.


Our mission is to provide a coordinated, multi-agency response that empowers families, supports victims, and holds perpetrators accountable. We aim to significantly decrease the number of interviews children undergo, ensuring their emotional well-being throughout the investigative process. By fostering cooperation among all involved agencies, we strengthen criminal prosecutions and contribute to a safer community for all.


  • forensic interviews
  • victim advocacy and guidance throughout the process- from first disclosure to post conviction
  • referrals to outside services
  • forensic medical examinations
  • on-site trauma therapy and assessments
  • case coordination
  • case tracking

After Care Trauma Services

Our approach includes access to immediate qualified care. Ingrid Pasten, LCSW, RPT has been the Child & Family Therapist of Children’s Connection since 2016. With more than 15 years’ experience in working with clients who have been sexually abused, Ingrid combines her warm personality and multi-cultural expertise with a wealth of knowledge in the field of child abuse.   Ms. Pasten is a Registered Play Therapist, Level 1 EMDR, Certified in TF-CBT and proficient in several other modalities.  She began her career at The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education providing counseling and support services to adolescent and adult survivors of sexual abuse and later worked at Kids in Crisis as their bilingual social worker providing counseling and crisis intervention to children ages newborn to 18 and their families.

Our Parners

The Multidisciplinary Team of Greater Norwalk (MDT):
Established in 1997, the MDT, led by Children’s Connection, bridges gaps in services faced by agencies in the Greater Norwalk area.

Stop Child Abuse and Neglect Education Programs (SCAN):

Empowering families is at the core of our efforts. Through our Stop Child Abuse and Neglect Education Programs (SCAN), we equip parents, professionals, and students with the knowledge to recognize, resist, and report all forms of child abuse. Our workshops, seminars, and media campaigns create a proactive approach, breaking the cycle of abuse before it begins.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect in someone you know, please call now.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families

24 hours a day / 7 days a week