How We Help - Natchez Children's Services
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How We Help

Children’s Advocacy Center:

 

A Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is a child-focused agency that follows the guidelines of the National Children’s Alliance in order to serve children and adults with developmental delays who have been the victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect. The center also serves children and vulnerable adults who have been the witnesses to a crime.

Children are referred to our CAC by law enforcement or Child Protective Services if there is an allegation or suspicion that a child is the victim of a crime or witness to a crime. Then each is given an appointment with a specially trained “listener”.

Every accredited CAC in the United States has Forensic Interviewers or “listeners” whose job it is to hear what each child has to say in a neutral, child-friendly and unbiased way. That conversation is videotaped so that he or she only has to share what happened to them one time, instead of re-living their experience again and again with multiple professionals asking questions.

That initial interview is the key to unlocking services that can lead to justice, hope and healing for the child and non-offending family and caregivers. Our Family Advocates provide support during investigations, through legal journeys and while clients are in therapy with trained Trauma Therapists.

Children’s Advocacy Center’s provide services to clients at a no cost. We raise money to be able to provide these services to children and the professionals investigating crimes against children without charge. We do this to ensure that any child who may have had something terrible happen to them, has a chance for their voice to be heard and the opportunity for rise about trauma and thrive.

How does a child get referred to a Natchez Children’s Services Children’s Advocacy Center?

Children are referred to our CAC by Law Enforcement, District Attorney office or Child Protective Services if there is an allegation or suspicion that a child is the victim of a crime or witness to a crime. Then each is given an appointment with a specially trained “listener”.

What is a forensic interview?

A forensic interview is a neutral, child friendly, and unbiased, fact-finding conversation that is videotaped to ensure a child only tells their traumatic experience of abuse one time. Our highly trained forensic interviewers are skilled at talking with children of all ages in a developmentally and culturally appropriate ways. This initial interview is key to unlocking services that can lead to justice, hope and healing for the child and non-offending family and caregivers.

What is a Family Advocate?

Our Family Advocates provide support services to victims of child abuse and their non-offending caregivers and follow their case until it is either closed or prosecuted. These services may include preparing families for court, assist with access to resources in the community, counseling on site and referrals for counseling and medical exams. The Family Advocates provide support to the child and family during their initial visit at our center. The Family Advocates will maintain contact with the child and non-offending caregiver to continue assessing and assisting with the needs of the family.

Mental Health Professionals

NCS-CAC provides trauma focused therapy giving children and their families the chance to heal and build skills so they can move through the trauma to success in school, relationships, and community. NCS-CAC provides trauma therapy services, free of charge, to children who received forensic interviews.

Multidisciplinary Team

The multidisciplinary team allows law enforcement, child protection professionals, prosecutors, youth court professionals, medical professionals, and mental health professionals to work together to assist victims of child abuse in a cohesive manner.