The CAC will be interviewing both the child and parent.
Your child has been referred to the CAC to talk to our trained caring interviewer. Your child’s appointment will last approximately 90 minutes. Before talking with your child, the CAC interviewer will meet with the police investigator and/or child protection worker. CAC staff will also talk with you. We will ask you if there is anything we should know about your child’s feelings, language skills and special needs. This interview will last 20-60 minutes. The interviewer is trained to understand the child’s language and special concerns. The interview will be videotaped.
During your child’s interview, you will meet with the CAC’s Family Advocate. The advocate wants to find out how you are feeling and will talk with you about mental health resources that can help you and your child. The advocate will also ask about other resource needs, such as health insurance, financial assistance, etc. The advocate will provide you with information to help your child’s healing from abuse.
After the Interview
After the interview, a police investigator and/or child protection worker will meet with you. They will speak with you and answer questions you might have about what happens next. In some cases, these professionals may need to ask you some questions too.
If your child has not yet received a medical evaluation, the investigators may recommend an evaluation conducted by one of our trained healthcare providers who specialize in child abuse exams. Families find the exam to be very beneficial in evaluating the child’s health, answering questions and reassuring children their bodies are okay. Your advocate can provide you with more information about medical services.
Please try to avoid questioning your child about the allegations, due to potentially hindering the investigations.
What Happens to the Interview Information?
Your child’s audio and video taped interview is part of a police investigation. It is protected by confidentiality laws. Only the investigative team is able to watch the interview. CAC respects children’s privacy. We keep the interview information confidential. Videotapes and written reports are sometimes used as evidence for criminal, juvenile or family court. A written summary of the child’s statement can be released to a therapist of your choice.
What does my child need?
Children may express feelings with actions more than words. If your child’s behavior changes, he or she may need help from you to talk about the abuse experience, safety and touch. Respect your child’s feelings. Remember, whatever your child is feeling is “normal” for him/her. Children need to know that it is good to talk about safety and touch. Tell your child that you want to know their questions and concerns. It can be hard for a child to talk to parents about things that are personal, painful or embarrassing. It’s okay if children need to talk to other helping adults, too. Children seen at the CAC often benefit from talking with therapists and physicians about safety, body conerns and their experiences. The CAC advocate will tell you about resources that can help you and your child. Give yourself and your child time to feel safe and trust others again.
What can I do about MY feelings?
We can’t always protect children from harm. It is okay to talk about your feelings with adults who will listen to you. If you need help finding someone to talk to, your CAC advocate can help. It is important to express your feelings without confusing or frightening your child. You can tell your child that you are angry about what happened, not angry at them. Your advocate can also provide you a reading list of books that may help you cope with your feelings.
We’re here for you!
If you need help, please contact us today.