Advocacy Services

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.

Legal Advocacy

A Child and Family Advocate at the Child and Family Advocacy Center can provide you with information and can direct you to resources such as Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (http://www.smrls.org) for help with legal issues.

If you do not feel safe, a Child and Family Advocate can help you obtain one of two types of protection orders:

  • a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO); or
  • an Order For Protection (OFP).

To learn more about the differences between OFPs and HROs, please click on the link below:

HRO v OFP Comparison sheet – Minnesota Judicial Branch

If you have any questions or want help filling out or filing a restraining order, please contact the Child and Family Advocacy Center or contact the Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) to speak with a Child and Family Advocate.

A 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. A Child and Family Advocate can also attend meetings with prosecution, probation, and victim witness so you feel supported through every step of the criminal process.

Family and Victim Advocacy Services

At the Child and Family Advocacy Center of South Central Minnesota (CFAC), Family and Victim Advocates work with parents and caregivers to help victims and families through the criminal justice process and beyond. Advocates are an integral part of the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), which includes law enforcement and service providers, and they connect children and families to resources in the community.

Advocates offer ongoing support to child/adolescent victims and their non-offending caregivers throughout the criminal justice process, and after its conclusion. In addition, advocates work with parents and children to rebuild boundaries, teach resiliency skills, and develop safety plans in order to minimize future abuse. We partner with Committees Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) in the Blue Earth County area.