HOW CHILDREN ARRIVE AT THE CAC:
Children are referred to our center for services by local law enforcement or by other investigative personnel after an allegation of abuse has been made to the child abuse hotline. Services are provided free of charge.
The purpose of the Forensic Interviewing component is to provide an opportunity for a child to disclose about maltreatment in a neutral, fact-finding interacation with a specially-trained interviewer while utilizing a multi-disciplinary team approach. Forensic Interviewing is the first step to the child telling their story and we are very fortunate to have three highly-trained professional interviewers on staff. We currently use a system called iRecord that helps us record these interviews and distribute to those needing to review and use it for investigative and criminal purposes.
The mission of the Advocacy component is to afford each family an opportunity for success by networking them with community agencies and offering them continuing support. The Center has three full-time child advocates, one bilingual. Advocacy begins with initially meeting the child and family at the CAC; making them feel comfortable, telling them what to expect, and offering assistance with any other needs. As the case proceeds, the advocate keeps in touch with the family and receives current information on the child and any other services the family may have need for throughout this process. If a case reaches prosecution, advocates go to court and are by the child’s side through the whole process.
The mission of the Medical component is to provide medical services for the purpose of cultivating healing and offering reassurance in order to instill hope in children during times of need. An onsite medical room is available for children that meet certain criteria for a sexual assault examination. If an exam is deemed necessary, a registered nurse that is additionally trained to conduct sexual assault examinations will meet with the child and their family. An examination is conducted with the use of a magnification device called a colposcope. Any necessary evidence collection and treatment specific to sexual abuse allegations can occur at our center without having to refer the child and their family to a local hospital or physician clinic. We currently have a nurse on staff and work with contract nurses.
The mission of the center's Mental Health component is to provide quality, holistic counseling services to children and their families by treating the whole child systemically in order to alleviate trauma symptoms and promote healing. Our Mental Health Services provide a safe place for children/adolescents and families to address the potential effects of abuse or neglect as well as discuss difficulties or concerns in the home and receive the support they need. Services include individual counseling, family counseling, and couples counseling. Some of the counseling approaches available at the CAC include Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), Play Therapy, and Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT). We currently have three full-time counselors, a contract counselor, and several interns working at our center.Over 60 children and their families are receiving services for counseling each week.
ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL ONSITE:
A Deputy Child Abuse Prosecutor, two Arkansas State Police Investigators and one Department of Children and Family Services Investigator also have offices at our facility which helps ensure coordinated services and team response for the child and their family.
OUR OVERALL GOAL:
We strive to increase the ability of child abuse victims and their non-offending family members to lead lives free of abuse and the trauma they have experienced. Equally important, the CAC provides child abuse awareness and education to the community and offers training to various professionals that work with children including schools, daycares, churches, civic organizations and other community events.
In A Perfect World No Child would be Abused!