PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Our facility offers a warm, comfortable and safe environment for victims and their non-offending caregivers. We provide a location where all involved agencies have a place to interact with the child and to conduct investigative forensic interviews in a manner that does not further traumatize the child.
What is a forensic interview?
A forensic interview is the interviewing of a child after a report of severe abuse, neglect, drug endangerment, etc If such an issue is reported to the statewide hotline, police, or DCS and is determined to be severe, the child and his/her family or non-offending caregivers are most often brought to the Coffee County Childrens Advocacy Center so that the child can be interviewed here. This interview, when done at the CCCAC, is recorded on video and can later be used as evidence if needed. This ideally allows the child to have to tell his/her story only once. Repeated interviews of children who have been victims of severe abuse or neglect often results in more trauma, so, our goal is to make this process as comfortable for children as possible and to make this the only interview of the child that is necessary. Currently, most forensic interviews are conducted by members of the Department of Childrens Services Investigative Team.
Family Advocacy Services:
Our Family Advocate works with victims and the non-offending caregivers to make sure they have resources that they may need. This may include such things as linking the families up with appropriate mental health and medical services, providing support groups to non-offending caregivers, and helping the family identify other resources that they may need. Our family advocate is also usually the first person the family has contact with at the Center and will walk them through what will happen while they are here. If appropriate, she also provides the families with information on how to file for victims compensation.
Currently, we have a Prevention Specialist who is responsible for developing programs in the schools, day cares, and at community events. The curriculum used is the evidence based program called Yello Dyno. Yello Dyno helps deliver a safety message to kids of all ages that is age appropriate. Our Prevention Specialist will also often work with professionals in the schools to make sure that they understand the reporting requirements if a child tells the teacher or similar professional about being abused. Education is the key to prevention and as we grow, we hope to develop this program even more.
Mental Health Services
Thanks to a grant from Baptist Healing Trust, we are able to offer child victims free trauma focused mental health services on site. Therapy is provided by a licensed psychologist who is trained specifically to work with children and families who have experienced trauma.
Through a partnership with Our Kids, the CCCAC serves as a satellite clinic of Our Kids. The clinic operates two days per month and is available to children in Coffee and surrounding counties.