The services of a victim advocate are essential in achieving the overall goals of reduction in trauma and secondary victimization for children.
Advocacy services consist of:
- Welcoming and orienting the child and family to the CSC.
- Providing crisis intervention during the initial visit.
- Enhancing the cooperation of the family in the court process.
- Accompanying the child and non-offending parent to court.
- Facilitating linkages with other types of concrete services, i.e., housing, food, job services, clothing.
The CSC has trained forensic interviewers who perform a DVD recorded interview per request by law enforcement. We also offer our interview room to law officers who have been trained in forensic interviewing.
A coordinated approach:
- Reduces the number of interviews of the child.
- Facilitates the efficient gathering and sharing of all information critical to the case.
- Broadens the knowledge base by including the information from several agencies. Improves communication among agencies.
- Creates less stress for the child.
- Encourages openness and trust.
Specialized medical evaluations and sexual assault exams are made available to all children who are victims of suspected abuse, particularly sexual abuse. A certified SANE, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, specifically trained in child sexual assault exams, performs exams. Her work is peer reviewed by the Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Andrew Koehler of NWA Pediatric Clinic and Dr. Karen Farst of Arkansas Children’s House in Little Rock.
The Children’s Safety Center provides a free, comprehensive treatment program for the child victims using Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
The goals of treatment for the child are as follows:
- Reduces the emotional impact of the disclosure.
- Develops a new definition of self, beyond that of a victim.
- Engages in joint sessions that help the child and caregiver talk about the trauma.
- Teaches and practices safety skills.
- Promotes healing and establishes hope for the future.