Our Family Advocate connects with children and families during the initial visit to the CAC and is available to answer questions, provide support, and give up-to-date information to families. In the aftermath of victimization, when children and families are coping with the emotional impact of the initial report and the ensuing process, the Family Advocate is there to help and is dedicated to the safety and well-being of our children and families. Our Family Advocate also facilitates our Kid’s Court program, which helps children prepare for, and understand the legal process and to provide support as they navigate the judicial system.
Forensic interviews are conducted by professionals specially trained to ask child victims a series of unbiased, non-leading questions to elicit information about the abuse in an age and developmentally appropriate manner. During the interview, the child and the interviewer meet one-on-one in a room specially equipped with cameras. This allows our partners in law enforcement and the Department of Human Resources to observe the interview in real time from a nearby room. They are able to communicate with the interviewer via an IPad during the interview, so they can collect evidence for their investigations. Our forensic interviews minimize trauma by ensuring that the child is able to provide the account in their own words and only has to detail the abuse to one adult. Interviews are recorded to preserve evidence for prosecution.
Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center offers trainings to professionals, community members and first-responders on preventing, recognizing, responding to and reporting child abuse. We also provide child abuse education and prevention programs to students from preschool to high school. The CAC provides mandated reporter trainings to school personnel and members of the faith community, as well as community and athletic organizations. Our Outreach team regularly participates in community events, helping to spread the mission of the CAC to all of those that we serve.
Our Master’s level therapists provide specialized treatment to victims of child abuse. Individual, group and family therapy is available to victims, siblings, and non-offending caretakers. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy utilizes empirically supported treatment to assist in recovering from abuse, to prevent children’s developmental impairment because of the abuse, and to promote healthy, non-abusive relationships. All therapy services are provided free of charge, and children and families are encouraged to return to the CAC for therapy at any point in their recovery.