Crisis Support Network offers a Nationally Accredited Children’s Advocacy Center. We provide a place for a multidisciplinary team of professionals to investigate cases of reported child abuse and cases in which a child may have been a witness to a crime.
What is a Children's Advocacy Center (CAC)?
Most child abuse investigations require an interview of the child. In an effort to limit the number of times that your child will need to be interviewed, our center coordinates a single initial interview of your child. This interview typically involves your child speaking with a Forensic Interviewer in a calm and comfortable room, while Team members observe this interview via video feed from an adjacent sound-proof room.
A team of professionals will be working with police, prosecutors, social workers, advocates, medical and mental health professionals and others to provide high-quality, specialized services for abused children and their families. The center ensures the most comfortable experience for a child helping an investigation.
Minimizes the number of times your child is interviewed and limits the number of people who must directly interview your child. This allows you to meet all of the professionals involved with your child and family and provides an opportunity to ask questions.
CSN partners with Providence Abuse Intervention Center for specialized medical evaluations.
Support and advocacy are provided to assist your family in obtaining needed services and to help families through the court process.
Mental Health Services
Your family will be provided with information about mental health services in your community to address the specific needs your family might have.
What to Expect
We understand that this is likely to be a difficult, stressful, and confusing time for you and your child. We hope this information helps you understand what to expect before, during, and after your child’s visit to the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Childcare is provided by caring professionals while you meet with the Child Advocacy Center team.
Can I sit with my child during the interview?
Parents do not sit with their child during the interview. Although it is often difficult for children to talk about what has happened, most children are comfortable in separating from their parents and talking with the Forensic Interviewer.
Can I sit with the Team during the interview?
Parents are not permitted to sit with the Team during an interview. Because this is an investigation, the Team members need to carefully observe, assess, and document the interview and would be unavailable to respond to your concerns or questions during that time. You will be able to meet with the Team after the interview to hear about what happened and to ask any questions.
Can I be with my child during the medical exam?
YES. You are able to be with your child during the medical exam. The Nurse Practitioner will meet with the parent/guardian first to go over the child’s medical history. Teens may prefer to meet with the Nurse Practitioner alone.
What should I tell my child about their visit to the Child Advocacy Center?
Children are most comfortable when they have been informed about what to expect. It is important to explain to your child that he or she will be meeting with someone to talk about what has happened to him/her. You can let your child know that the interviewer is a person who talks to many children.
You should not tell your child what to say, but simply encourage your child to tell the truth. Some children may need to be reassured and told that they have done nothing wrong.
You can let your child know that a medical exam may be conducted but it is not a painful exam and you will be able to be with them.
Will this be the only time my child will have to speak about what happened?
Participation in this interview does not mean that your child will never have to speak about the incident(s) again. The Assistant District Attorney and Victim Witness Advocate will consult with you about the decision to prosecute the case and discuss your family’s involvement in the court process.
In addition, some children choose to continue to speak about their experiences with family, friends, and/or are encouraged to speak with counselors as a way to address their thoughts or feelings about what has happened.