Advocating For Children
At Northeast Arkansas Children's Advocacy Center, we strive to advocate for children suffering from child abuse in any capacity. Our goal is to create a safe, non-invasive environment with caring professionals that can help unfold their story and stop the system of violence. Through a carefully thought-out process, we speak one-on-one with children monitored by on-site professionals to gain insights into suspected abuse. With a play room and proven strategies, we ensure that children go under as little stress as possible during interviews and exams.
Our services are free of charge and extend to seven counties including Clay, Craighead, Greene, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, and Randolph.
Initially, children are allowed to play and become relaxed and comfortable in the playroom setting. Family members are welcomed into the adjoining waiting room. We introduce this space to help children feel safe. The play room houses a variety of toys, games and kid-friendly decor all in efforts to put children at ease before interviews and possible examinations.
Following the play room, interviews are conducted one-on-one by a licensed professional. For the benefit of the child, all interviews are video-taped and observed by investigate professionals to reduce the times a child recounts their experience. Children can feel relaxed talking one-on-one with the interviewer and may use drawings and dolls to help tell their story.
After the interview, if an on-site medical exam is deemed necessary, our specially trained SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse will perform the duties in our child-friendly exam room. The designed purpose of the medical exam is to assess and document trauma from sexual or physical abuse. We collect evidence, test for infections, pregnancy and ensure that the child's well-being is safe.
Once the interview is completed our CAC then offers therapy referrals, medical exams, plus courtroom preparation, victim advocacy, case management, and other services. This is called the multidisciplinary team (MDT) response and is a core part of the work of all CACs.