We all recognize that how well a child will do following the disclosure of abuse has a lot to do with the support of the child’s parents or relatives who are the non-offending caregiver(s). When that support is compromised, children often suffer long-term, emotional consequences.
Our family advocates work to ensure that a child’s non-offending caregivers feel supported during the investigative process. The job of the family advocate is to listen and support the caregiver in whatever way possible. Family advocates:
- Meet with caregivers at the time of the interview to explain the interview and investigation process;
- Listen to the concerns of the caregivers;
- Link the caregivers to appropriate community resources for the child and family – to include counseling and support groups;
- Educate the caregiver on the dynamics of abuse so that the caregiver does not feel so isolated; and
- Follow-up with the caregiver after the interview to make sure that the family was connected to the necessary resources.
Caregivers are encouraged to contact the family advocates at any time with questions or concerns.