The Children's Center is designed to be a "special place" for any CHILD ABUSE VICTIM who walks through our doors. In the past, child victims were subjected to multiple interviews in locations that lacked privacy and were often frightening. The Children's Center provides the child victim with a single location, in which all interviews, counseling sessions, and court preparation, when necessary, can be conducted.
Our center provides a relaxed, non-threatening, pleasant location in a warm homelike setting. Everything at the Center conveys that the child is important and respected. Social workers and police officers work as a team when interviewing the child.
Video equipment is used to further minimize the number of interviews and strangers with whom the child must talk. These tapes are beneficial to all case investigators in preparing their reports, to the victims for remembering details of disclosure, to mental health counselors in the treatment and case management, and to the Assistant District Attorney in handling the case.
One of our goals is to make sure each child who has to testify is carefully prepared to face the stressful atmosphere that exists in a courtroom. In order to avoid further trauma, careful preparation will help ensure the child has a positive courtroom experience.
The victim may return to a friendly, familiar setting at the Center to prepare for prosecution. Special time and care are given to the child, which will ultimately aid the victim's healing process, regardless of the outcome of the case. Another goal is to facilitate an increase in the number of cases expeditiously prosecuted, thereby preventing both new victims and re-victimization.