Preparing For Your Visit

    Let your child know that they are going to a safe place where they can talk to someone about what may have happened to them. Children should be instructed to tell the truth and should be told that it is safe to talk to the interviewer. While the child is being interviewed, caregivers are invited to meet with one of our victim advocates.  

    The length of the interview is determined by the needs of the child. On average an interview will last about 30-60 minutes depending upon the child’s age and development.  

    Your child will be interviewed by a specially trained Forensic interviewer in the language requested. 

    Only the forensic interviewer and the child are allowed in the interview room. This ensures that the interview will be objective and non-threatening. Additionally, only members of the multidisciplinary interview team — such as law enforcement, district attorney, child protective services — are allowed in the observation room. After the interview is over team members meet with a safe parent or caregiver to explain the process and discuss next steps. 

    The CAC is by appointment only. Appointments are attained by referral from another organization or agency. Forensic interview referrals can be initiated by Law Enforcement or the Department of Family and Children's Services. The forensic medical exams are requested by Law Enforcement, Department of Family and Children's Services, or a medical provider in the community. 

    After the interview or exam, the team will sit down with a safe parent or caregiver and discuss appropriate mental health referrals. Crisis intervention and peer counseling is available on site. 

    No. Additionally, families may qualify for the Victim’s Compensation Program. 

    In some circumstances, insurance may be billed, but survivors and families may qualify for the Victim’s Compensation Program. 

    When it is suspected a child has been abused, it is common for a medical exam to be done.  Your child’s head-to-toe exam will be like a regular doctor’s check-up in many ways. It will identify any medical conditions or trauma which must be treated as well as collect and document evidence if present. Medical staff can discuss and answer any questions you may have. 

    Depending on the circumstances, your child may have blood work and/or medication including shots. Some of the medical conditions we look for are sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. This can also help reassure a child and family about their health.  

    Many children may be nervous. This is ok. Our team will reassure them and carefully work with them within their comfort levels. This can be a difficult time for families and our team strives to have children leave their exam smiling and laughing.  

    Specially-trained pediatricians, advanced practice providers, and registered nurses perform all exams.

    Safe parents and or caregivers may be invited to accompany the child into the medical exam; the medical staff will have some medical history questions for you to answer.   

    No, you don’t need to bring anything. However, it’s helpful to know your insurance, and information about your medical care provider so that the team is able to refer to appropriate mental health and follow up for primary care. 

    Be willing to talk about anything. As a trusted adult, establish open and honest communication with the child. Create a relationship where they feel safe sharing real-life situations with you. Let them know that they can always come to you for help, without fear of judgment. Talk with the child directly about the risks and dangers in both the real world and online. 

     

    • Be understanding. This experience is like no other. It may bring out reactions and behaviors that leave both of you feeling angry, uncertain, or out of control. 

    • Be patient. For a time, the child may feel unsafe and insecure in the world. As you gain resources and information, you can help to restore a sense of safety. 

    • Be loving. Spend time with the child, doing things that they enjoy, without any pressure. Reassure them of your love and respect. 

    • Keep it simple. For a time, you and the child may find it difficult to concentrate. Even simple things may be hard to remember. Do not make any major life changes or introduce unnecessary challenges. 

    • Keep it real. Whatever you and the child are feeling is normal and understandable. Help the child understand what to expect as their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors change over time. 

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