Child Friendly Place
The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is a warm and welcoming place for both children and adults. In our Center, children and their families can meet with the professionals who work in the field of child abuse. It is our goal to assist child abuse victims and their families through the investigative process and help families through the difficult process of healing. Last year alone Davis House added 412 new clients while providing over 1,700 services. All services are provided FREE of CHARGE.
Forensic Interview – Investigation
Alledged child victims of sexual and/or severe physical abuse are interviewed at the Center, by a professional trained to elicit information from the child in a non-threatening, non-leading, non-suggestive manner. The entire process is obsevered by a detective and Department of Children’s Services case worker via closed circuit TV.
Davis House offers counseling services that are designed to support child abuse victims and their families through the healing process after the abuse. Individual and family counseling is offered on a weekly basis. Our in-house licensed therapist is certified in play therapy and trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
The Child and Family Advocate is here to work with families during the investigative process by providing support, information and referrals. This can come in many shapes and forms and is tailored to meet the specific needs of each family. It is our goal to help families feel less isolated and more informed during this traumatic time.
Non-Offending Caregiver’s & Children’s Support Group
The CAC offers support groups to assist parents whose children have been victims of sexual abuse. The goal of the group is to help parents through the difficult process of healing. It meets twice a year in six-week sessions.
All children who visit the CAC may select a stuffed animal of their choice to take home with them. The goal of this program is to give children choices so that they can regain control, provide children with something positive to focus on, and give children something to use as comfort in a traumatizing and confusing situation. The stuffed animals are donated by generous individuals and community groups.
The CAC maintains a library of books and videos relating to child abuse. They were purchased to help educate children, adults, and professionals working in the field of child abuse. Topics in our library include: child abuse, parenting after child abuse, and child abuse prevention. These resources are available to loan to community members and parents.
The CAC offers court orientation to help acclimate children who have to testify in criminal or legal proceeding to the courtroom environment. The program helps explain the court process to children and includes a tour of the courtroom. On the day of court, the Child and Family Advocate will attend court with children and families to provide support and help limit stress and discomfort.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
This state program provides financial help to innocent victims of crime. Financial assistance can be applied for to help cover medical expenses, mental health, counseling bills and pain and suffering for victims of child sexual abuse. Staff at the Child Advocacy Center can assist with the application to this program.
Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT) Program
The CPIT brings a variety of disciplines and parties together at the Center to work for the welfare of the child. This State mandated team is comprised of professional from DHCAC staff, law enforcement, District Attorney’s Office, Department of Children’s Services (DCS), medical professionals from Our Kids, and Juvenile Court officers. The charge of the CPIT is to determine the disposition of each child abuse case. In meetings each team player brings their respective expertise and investigative results pertaining to the child victim in an effort to provide the most appropriate services. It is also out of these meetings that legal proceedings and referrals for prosecution arise.
Community Education Prevention Programs
The CAC provides community education focused on prevention and early intervention of child abuse. The key to addressing the issue of child abuse is to educate the community about abuse, services available to victims and the legal obligation of all members of the community to report suspected child abuse. Staff at the CAC are available for presentations to community organizations and groups. Davis House Prevention Programs include: Stewards of Children award-winning training; the Prevent Now program; and Signs & Symptoms Of Child Sexual Abuse.