Child advocacy services
The effects of abuse can be dramatic and long lasting. Low self-esteem, isolation, depression and guilt are just a few of the hurdles these children must face and overcome. The effects are even more drastic when the abuser is a family member or someone whom the child should expect to be protective and nurturing.
Some of these children must be separated from their families for their own protection or they are rejected by their families for reporting the abuse. They often feel they have lost everything and everybody that meant anything to them. Even those children that remain in a supportive family environment require help to start the healing process.
Opened in 2001 by Satilla Advocacy Services, the Child Advocacy Center is a centralized location where families can go to receive support and/or counseling for children.
In this warm, child-friendly atmosphere, the center helps children and adolescents heal from abuse, supports families who have been impacted by abuse, and works to break the cycle of abusew for future generations.
The Child Advocacy Program employs a multidisciplinary approach to the investigations, prosecution and treatment of child sexual and severe physical abuse cases. This includes children 19 years of age and under. Our center provides the following:
- Videotaped interviews of child sexual abuse victims in safe, child-friendly surroundings to avoid multiple interviews, reduce the trauma of disclosure and preserve statements for court purposes.
- Crisis intervention and emotional support for victims and non-offending family members as well as access to the victim’s compensation system.
- Therapy services, offered on-site or through referral, to help child victims begin the healing process.
- Forensic medical exams, utilizing specialized equipment necessary for accurate diagnoses.
- Interdisciplinary review of cases by teams of professionals, including law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medical, mental health, victim assistance and child advocacy.
No single agency, individual or discipline has all the knowledge, skills or resources to provide the assistance needed for abused children and their families. At the Child Advocacy Center, the combined wisdom and professional knowledge of child protective services, law enforcement, prosecution, medical and mental health professionals results in a more complete and effective response system.