Child Advocacy Center
Not too many years ago, a child reporting their abuse was often unknowingly re-victimized by the various agencies and individuals attempting to help. Professionals from law enforcement, child protection services, prosecutorial and medical professionals would each question the child separately and in environments designed for adults. Many times, these interviews were done solely to meet the diverse and, sometimes, conflicting requirements of the agencies involved, rather than the needs of the child.
In 2002, District Attorney Robert W. Levy and other members of the community recognized the need for a different way to address the problems of child victimization. They wanted to provide children a safe, easy place to talk about difficult, frightening things and at the same time take a comprehensive coordinated approach for the various agencies involved in investigating these crimes.
At the Child Advocacy Center, specially trained forensic interviewers, law enforcement, child protection services, mental health professionals and medical personnel from Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) to make decisions about investigation, medical exams, treatment and prosecution. This approach ensures that children receive child-focused services in a child-friendly environment, one in which the child's needs come first
Provide a safe, child-friendly environment to serve abused children through assessment, intervention, and counseling services.
Provide collaboration among agencies and professionals mandated to intervene in child abuse cases.
Minimize the number of times a child is questioned and/or interviewed about their abuse.
Facilitate coordination and tracking efforts by operating as a MDT in an effort to increase the prosecution of offenders.
Provide training for professionals, volunteers and the community about child abuse.
The child is interviewed in a child-friendly, safe, supportive environment by a trained forensic interviewer. Members of the MDT observe the interview by closed circuit television while the interview is being recorded. The taped interview can be used in court as evidence. Conducting the interview in this manner reduces the number of times a child is requested to tell of their abuse. The interviews are conducted in a non-leading, non-suggestive manner, which allows the child to tell of their abuse in their own words.
Counseling services are provided to the child and their non-offending caregivers to help them heal from the emotional wounds associated with the trauma of abuse.
Counseling appointments are scheduled at a time most convenient for the child. Evening and Saturday appointments are available upon request.
Counseling services are provided at no cost.
The CAC strives to assist members of our MDT. We strongly believe the coordination and communication between these members make an investigation less traumatizing for child victims and their families. MDT members meet prior to interviews to review case-specific issues. Following the interview, team members meet with the caregiver to answer questions and concerns as well as provide information regarding appropriate referral resources. The MDT meets once each quarter for case reviews.
Area of Service
Lincoln, Union, Bienville, Claiborne, and Jackson Parishes
"All of us are responsible for all children. If you suspect child abuse and/or neglect, please call the Office of Community Services or your nearest law enforcement agency and report what you have seen. Your confidentiality will be respected."
The Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization
If you or someone you love is a victim of sexual abuse/assault, you are not at fault and you are not alone. We can help you learn to live again.
Call Pine Hills Advocacy Center
24 hours a day at our crisis hotline (318) 255-7273 or 1-800-869-1033.
We are here to help you.