CAC's today vs the Past
Before the creation of Child Advocacy Center’s the average for a child reporting abuse, was the child talking about their abuse to an average of nine (9) people, telling their story of the abuse over and over again while the investigation continues. Many children have reported that the process was as damaging to them emotional as the abuse.
The Chances For Children, Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is a child friendly place where a multi-disciplinary team of community professionals join together to care for abused children. The CAC can decrease the overall impact of abuse by reducing further victimization to abused children; by encouraging and educating parents and caregivers to prevent abusive and neglectful behaviors; and reducing the long term costs to society. A child can attend our center from time of interview to follow-up therapy services. Giving a child a sense of closure decreases the likelihood of duplication of services, and ensures follow through that the necessary services have occurred. In essence, staffing’s keep children from falling through the cracks of the system by addressing those gaps and resolving them with the multi-disciplinary approach.
See how CAC's help with family
In 2013 Chances for Children became a Certified Supervised visitation Center in which a child can visit with a parent with full contact supervision in place to protect the child.
A trained staff member is in contact with the child throughout the visit, All visits are also Audio/video recorded. Videos can only be released through Court Order.
It is imperative that Children have an opportunity to visit and build relationships with both parents as long as a child is loved and safe. Many times in Divorce or relationship ending the child/ren become the victim, the tool that the other parent uses as a tool of revenge. Chances for Children provides a third party facility to facilitate and hopefully educate parents in the emotional needs of their child/ren by providing prevention, education and even at times persistence in guiding the parents toward a life of co-parenting.
What is a forensic interview?
Interviews of the child victim are conducted in a child friendly, safe, supportive environment by a trained forensic interviewer working with the University Of Florida Child Protective Team (CPT). Members of the multi-disciplinary team observe from another room while the interview is recorded. The recorded interview can be used in court as evidence. Conducting the interviews in this format reduces the likelihood of the child being interviewed multiple times by many different professionals in a variety of locations. Multiple interviews re-traumatize the child by causing them to revisit the abuse. Reducing the number of interviews while being consistent with the interviewer and the interview element means fewer traumas to the abused child. It is a goal of the center to minimize the number of interviews to insulate the children.
What is a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE)
When there is concern that a child has been sexually assaulted, a SAFE exam will be scheduled. A SAFE is a comprehensive, non-invasive medical examination that is much like a well-child check-up. A child is checked for bruises, body lacerations and evidence possible used towards prosecution of abuse. This exam takes place in Chances For Children’s amazing examination room. The walls are part of a playful animals running along the border and sitting in trees to distract and comfort the child.