Advocacy services are offered to the parents and caregivers of children who participate in forensic interviews. A Child and Family Advocate ensures that children and families get the culturally-sensitive support, education and resources they need to help them overcome the trauma of abuse.
During the forensic interview, a Child and Family Advocate can explain the forensic interview process, the investigation and legal process to the parents and family. The Child and Family Advocate also promotes collaboration among other Social Service organizations involved with the client.
The Child and Family Advocate listens to caregivers’ concerns and informs them about the dynamics of sexual abuse and the effects of trauma. The Child and Family Advocate plays a critical role in connecting clients with resources in the community to address needs including domestic violence, housing, clothing, food, financial assistance, legal assistance, medical needs and mental health services. The Child and Family Advocate may also attend domestic and sexual assault court proceedings with victims so that victims can be informed of what is happening in a specific case. In addition, they can attend meetings with prosecution, probation, and victim witness to support the victim, caregiver, and family through every step of the criminal process.
The Child and Family Advocate’s ultimate goal is to help children and families heal and empower them to obtain the resources and services they need to lead healthy lives.