A Comprehensive Approach to Child Abuse Allegations
Services provided by the Talbot County Children's Advocacy Center include:
Forensic Interviewing - The forensic interviewer is a trained professional who is responsible for providing legally defensible forensic interviews of children and adolescents when there are suspicions of abuse or when the child has been a witness to violence against another person. The interviews will be conducted at the TCCAC.
The TCCAC strives to provide an environment that is child-focused and helps families feel safe and comfortable throughout the process. Forensic Interviewers have specialized training in how to talk with children regarding these forms of allegations and sensitive experiences. The forensic interview is conducted in a neutral and developmentally appropriate manner that is sensitive to the needs of each individual child. The interview provides an opportunity for the child to explain what happened in their own words without any outlying pressures.
The interview is observed by members of the multi-disciplinary team. The interviews are audio and video recorded. Siblings or other children living in the household may also be interviewed. While a child may be re-interviewed for clarification purposes, recording the interview helps reduce the number of times the child is interviewed.
After the interview is completed, appropriate team members meet with the caregiver to gain their perspective on the report and basic information about the family. Additionally, a family advocate may be present during this part of the interview to get to know the family and ensure that the family has a resource for concerns or treatment after the interview.
Forensic Medical Examination - When there is a concern that a child has been abused, a medical exam can be scheduled. The examination is a comprehensive, non-invasive medical examination that is much like a well-child check-up. The exam takes place in a child-friendly examination room. A child will never be restrained during the exam, and it is the child's choice whether the exam is completed. Children may choose to have a support person in the examination room with them.
Family Advocacy Services - The Family Advocate assists the non-offending parent or caregiver with services needed to maintain a safe and stable environment for their child (ren). Also, the Family Advocate facilitates our Non-Offending Caregivers Support Group.
Mental Health Program - Through the program, clients receive specialized treatment to move beyond the role of victim and lead a healthy and happy life. The therapist will provide direct assessment, counseling, and support services and are specially trained to deal with the intricate problems relating to child victimization. Specialized therapies such as equine, art, and music are also available based on the individual treatment needs of the child.
Resource Library - Our resource library contains books and periodicals, which are available for review by families, volunteers, and professionals.