WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR VISIT
Our goal is to ensure that both you and your child feel safe and supported during your visit with us and the months following. We've found that when parents and children have a clear idea of what to expect, it can help to ease the fear and anxiety they may be experiencing about the interview process. Please read below to help prepare for your visit.
BEFORE THE VISIT
In most cases, our Family Advocate will reach out to you to confirm your appointment. You will be walked through the interview process, provided with our location and contact information, discuss how to prepare your child for the visit, and have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
When you first arrive, you will be greeted at the door and taken to our Family Room. There you will be introduced to our Family Advocate and go on a tour of the Center. You will then have an opportunity to meet with the investigative team, while our Advocate and/or a student intern waits with your child. During this meeting, you will be introduced to the team, sign consent forms, and ask any questions you may have.
After your meeting with the team, the Interviewer will be introduced to your child and take him/her to our interview room for the interview. Caregivers are not allowed to be in the interview room or to observe the interview, as this often causes a child to not want to talk about the abuse or give important details if caregivers are present. Caregivers may also have a hard time controlling their own emotions when listening to their child talk about the abuse. For these reasons, this will be your time with our Family Advocate, who will have some forms to complete and provide support for you while you wait. You will be able to discuss anything you like during this time.
When your child is done, they will be escorted back to the Family Room. It is now your turn to talk with the team. They will answer any questions you may have and explain what the next steps may be in the investigation. You will then have another opportunity to talk with the advocate if you like and complete any recommended referrals to services, such as counseling or a medical exam. The team will develop a plan and continue their investigation. Our advocate will also follow up with you in the upcoming weeks and throughout the investigation process to provide any additional support or referrals that you may need.