Our victim advocates are the consistent support for children and families during a case. The advocate is the first point of contact for children, many in crisis, and helps the child and family through the case from disclosure to court proceedings to healing. Our advocates are trained and knowledgeable in crisis response and all components of an investigation.
A forensic interview is a recorded interview designed to elicit a child’s unique information when there are concerns of possible abuse or when the child has witnessed violence against another person. The forensic interview is conducted in a supportive and non-leading manner by a professional trained in the Child First Forensic Interview Protocol model. Interviews are remotely observed by representatives of the agencies involved in the investigation (such as law enforcement, Arkansas State Police, and DHS).
The purpose of an exam is to collect evidence and document trauma if present (especially in acute cases). The exam is also used to assess for and treat sexually transmitted infections, injuries, and pregnancy. Most importantly, it is performed to reassure the child and family that his/her body is okay. Exams will be conducted by specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.
Children who have experienced a trauma may be referred for therapy. In addition, non offending family of those children are eligible for services. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) is a specialized type of therapy for children and families of abuse. The Family Advocate will discuss therapy options with the family.
Child abuse prevention comes through education. It is important to educate the community, especially those working with children, in child abuse awareness, as well as the correct first response in child abuse cases. We strive to continuously educate those in the community through trainings and events.