Southern Indiana Child Advocacy Center

A positive example of leadership and cooperation that has directly benefited the local community has been the development of the Southern Indiana Child Advocacy Center (CAC).

The founding of the CAC was accomplished through the efforts of many dedicated individuals and local community leaders, and in partnership with Family & Children’s Place, a non-profit counseling and services provider based in Louisville, Kentucky, whose mission is to promote healthy, safe, and stable families.

A Parent’s Guide to the Child Advocacy Center (CAC)

The CAC is a valuable community resource that provides services to children who may have experienced sexual abuse; the Southern Indiana CAC serves the residents of both Floyd and Clark counties as well as the populations of the surrounding rural communities.

Specialized employees make every effort to create a child friendly environment where young children and teenagers alike can feel comfortable and safe. Child victims and their family members visit the CAC upon referral to take advantage of specially trained child interviewers, therapists, and medical staff.

The goal of the CAC is to minimize trauma to children who may have been sexually abused by providing multiple services in one location.

Children are often too scared to disclose abuse because they are embarrassed or worried that something bad will happen to themselves or to those they love if they tell anyone about what has happened to them.

Thanks to the CAC, stress on a child is reduced because the child does not have to relive the abuse by repeating their story to many different people through the course of an investigation.

It is important for parents and children to know that the CAC exists only for the protection and welfare of the child. The CAC is a neutral party in the investigation process, and its staff are not employees of law enforcement, the Department of Child Services, or the Prosecutor’s Office.

Why have I been asked to bring my child to the CAC?

If you have been contacted by law enforcement or another agency to bring your child to the CAC, there is a serious concern that your child may be the victim of a crime and this concern must be addressed through an investigation.

The staff at the CAC will gather facts, assess any possible emotional consequences incurred if abuse has taken place, and may provide a medical examination to identify possible injuries or health concerns.

The CAC is a place where your child can feel safe and begin the process of healing and recovery.

Is there a charge for services?

No, there is no charge or co-pay for services, but please bring your insurance or Medicaid/Passport card.

When you and your child arrive, you will be asked to sign-in and fill out paperwork that includes your child’s social security number.

You must be a legal guardian of the child and may be asked to show custody papers.

What should I tell my child prior to our visit to the CAC?

Your child may be nervous or worried about what will take place during their visit. It is okay to tell your child that you will be going with them to someplace special where they can talk openly about their feelings.

It’s okay to tell your child that the people at the CAC are there to listen to them and that they want to make sure  that the child is safe.

Who will my child be talking to during their visit?

Children who visit the CAC speak with a specially trained Forensic Interviewer who has experience talking with children about difficult subjects. Questions are asked in a non-threatening manner, and the interviewer proceeds at a pace that is comfortable for your child.

The forensic interview takes place between the child and the interviewer in a room with toys or drawing materials, depending on the age of the child.

The interview is one-on-one; however, law enforcement and representatives from Child Services may watch the interview via closed circuit television, as the interview is being video recorded.

May I watch the Forensic Interview?

No. The interview is part of an ongoing criminal investigation and only representatives of law enforcement or Child Services may observe.

The reason for the one-on-one interview is to reduce stress on your child and to provide a safe and neutral setting for your child to talk openly about what may have happened to them.

What happens after the interview?

A member of the investigative team will discuss with you, in general terms, what has been learned from the interview. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and to raise any possible concerns.

Will my child receive a medical exam?

Yes. Having a medical exam performed by a specially trained children’s physician is an important part of the services provided by the CAC.

The purpose of this exam is to determine the extent of any injuries and to treat any possible medical concerns; lab work is performed and the need for follow-up services is evaluated.

A therapist is present to meet with you and your child to prepare for and to discuss what will happen during the exam. If there is a need for more counseling, the therapist can assist you and your child in finding additional resources or counseling services through the CAC.

Can I be present with my child during the medical exam?

Yes. The goal of the CAC is to make the physical exam as comfortable and easy as possible for your child, and you are an important source of support for them. The physician will also speak with you about any findings during the examination.

How can I help my child?

Allowing your child to speak with a specially trained therapist is an important step in his or her healing and recovery.

Likewise, counseling for you and others in your family might be beneficial in helping to deal with what may have happened to your child. The CAC will connect you and your family with therapists trained to help in these matters.

Remember:

Many children do not want to discuss possible abuse with their parents because they may feel ashamed, guilty, or scared.

Most children begin to feel uncomfortable when they witness their parents become angry or upset, and many children try to protect their parents by not telling them about the abuse.

You can reassure your child that you are not upset with him or her, even though you are upset with the situation.

Each child’s feelings, needs, and reactions are unique to the individual and must be addressed as soon as possible after any alleged incident to better help the child’s recovery and normal development.

The CAC exists to help children receive the best care possible in situations where they may have suffered physical or sexual abuse.

The Child Advocacy Center is funded in part by the following:

The Indiana Victims of Crime Act; Children’s Justice Act; Indiana Sex Crimes Victim Services Fund; the Indiana Department of Child Services Title IV-B; and the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office.

Southern Indiana Child Advocacy Center

2818 Grantline Road, New Albany, IN 47150

Ph: (502) 584-8505 (Local)

Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 752-6200

IN Depart. of Child Services Abuse and Neglect Hotline: (800) 800-5556

 

  • Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance Coordinator

    A victim of crime in connection with criminal charges filed by this office may be eligible to receive assistance from our Victim's Assistance Coordinator.

    The Victim’s Assistance Coordinator provides information for victims through interactions with law enforcement, prosecutors and during court proceedings; by providing support and guidance to victims and their families; by informing victims of their rights; and by advising victims and/or their families of case developments and any upcoming trial court or hearing dates.