A Child Advocacy Center is the ONE place that provides a safe, child-focused environment where law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medical and mental health professionals share information and develop a coordinated strategy that seeks justice while also working to meet the unique needs of each child and family.
Prior to these centers, the various disciplines listed above all sought to meet with children “on their turf” which often meant multiple interviews in different places. Though unintended, consequences of this approach would frequently leave children feeling re-victimized by the very systems designed to support them.
Outcomes are an important way to illustrate the success in many fields. It is the same for child welfare. The efficacy of child advocacy centers are key to providing environments where children feel comfortable disclosing the most horrific experiences of maltreatment. Without advocacy centers, proper intervention and support for these children and their families can be significantly delayed or go unoffered.
Advocacy Centers are involved at all levels of child abuse prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. A key focus at the primary level is connecting with schools in the center’s communities. Educating students and staff alike not only makes them more aware of the issue and how to report it, but it builds community trust in these centers.
As Morris County’s child advocacy center, Deirdre’s House is an integral part of addressing child maltreatment in the surrounding community. Our multi-disciplinary team works tirelessly to ensure that children and families are heard, supported and have every opportunity to heal and obtain justice. Check out what is happening at the national level in advocacy centers.