child advocacy

 

Vantage Pointe Child Advocacy Center was established in 2000 by Family Services to provide a child and family-friendly facility to those impacted by child maltreatment. Prior to the establishment of the Center, children suffering from maltreatment had to recount and relive their ordeals several times. The Center developed a system consisting of community agencies involved in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and treatment of child victims and their families.

Services for Children and Family Members

  • Forensic interviews- an interview with the child by a trained forensic interviewer to obtain information relevant to the case
  • Child Trauma Assessments
  • Supportive Services and Advocacy
  • Multidisciplinary Staffing
  • Referrals

Goals of the Center

  • Provide appropriate care to child maltreatment victims in a child-friendly atmosphere
  • Support victims and non-offending family members by facilitating access to a continuum of treatment services beyond the initial evaluation
  • Reduce the number of interviewers a child is exposed to, thus reducing trauma, as well as eliminating duplication of effort
  • Increase agency collaboration by facilitating a multidisciplinary team that consists for all organizations with an interest in child maltreatment cases
  • Improve communication with clients and between professionals throughout periods of investigation, prosecution and therapy
  • Develop an organizational/management structure that will ensure ongoing success and growth of the children's advocacy center

What to Expect from the Center

Referrals to Vantage Pointe are accepted from law enforcement and the Department of Social Services. These organizations are responsible for protecting children and holding the offender accountable by providing the following:

  • A child-friendly, safe space that assists the child in sharing what has happened
  • Assistance and advocacy in understanding the child protective and legal system
  • Support services that will assist child and family healing
  • Information for other community resources

What should I do if my child has been referred to the Center?

  • Be calm and reassuring to your child. Don't coach your child on what to say. It is important for the story to come out in your child's words and in your child's own time
  • When you are asked for information, try to provide as many facts as you can and let the professionals decide what is needed--don't withhold information. Don't try to guess if you don't know the answer to a question; it is much better to say you don't know
  • On the other hand, your feelings are important. Feelings are valuable in giving investigators insight, so tell us how you feel and why you feel that way
  • Always be honest, even though the truth may not seem favorable to yourself or others.
  • Try not to overreact. It is a difficult time and emotions run high. Losing control can hurt the case and overshadow the needs of the innocent victim, your child
  • Love, support and protect your child at all costs. If the alleged offender is a significant person to you, it can be very difficult to balance your feelings for them with the need to protect your child. Remember that your child has only you to make healthy, protective decisions
  • Cooperate. You will probably feel as if investigators are prying into your personal life, but this is necessary and vital to the case and your child's welfare
  • You may feel that investigators do not care because they avoid showing emotions. In fact, investigators do care, and part of that caring involves remaining objective and calm in the face of extremely emotional situations

Maltreatment Statistics

  • Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment
  • Male and female children are equally at risk for maltreatment; however, research shows that very young children are at the greatest risk for maltreatment
  • Child maltreatment occurs in all ethnic, cultural, educational, religious and socioeconomic levels
  • More than five million children are reported nationwide as victims of child abuse and neglect. It is estimated that the cost of maltreatment is $94 billion annually in this county 

For more information about our services, please contact the staff at Vantage Pointe, (336) 354-1067.

I need help contribute

family services main line
(336)722-8173

domestic violence hotline
(336)723-8125

sexual assault hotline
(336)722-4457