Preparing for your visit
Preparing your child for visiting the Advocacy Center will make a difficult task easier for your child. Your child will seek your approval in order to feel okay about being interviewed. Please talk with the detective working with you on what you should share with your child.
If your child is older and/or asks you about going to the Southwest Family Advocacy Center, you might begin by saying, “You and I are going to the Southwest Family Advocacy Center. It’s a special place where kids talk about what happened to them. The person you will be talking with talks to kids of all ages about things that have happened to them. She or he needs to know exactly what happened so we know what to do. It’s important that you tell the truth and only talk about what really happened.”
As a parent, you know best what to say to comfort and encourage your child. These are merely suggestions to get you started. Please Note: Only the Detective assigned to your case can schedule the forensic interview.
Upon arriving at the Center you will ring the bell on the intercom next to the front door. Please let the staff member know who you are here to see (detective or case worker's name).
Where do I go?
Once you have met with a staff member, your child will be asked if they want to go into the playroom. The playroom is a child-friendly environment where a child can play and is supervised by trained staff.
You will be assigned to one of our Family Waiting Rooms where you will have a comfortable, private area to meet with staff. The typical visit is between two and four hours. Cable television and magazines are available for your use as you wait.
While in the Family Waiting Room, you may be visited by a detective, case worker, forensic interviewer, victim advocate, or other staff members (depending on your case).
If you or your child are scheduled to have a Forensic Interview, please CLICK HERE for more information about the interview process and pictures of the interview rooms.
Professionals at the Center follow a case until services are no longer needed.
A child-friendly environment for children to be assessed to determine whether they have been abused
Department of Child Safety for abused and neglected children taken into protective custody
A multidisciplinary team approach designed to meet the best interests of the child and child’s family
Ongoing advocacy and support for child victims and non-offending family members
Training for advocacy center professionals
Community education, prevention, and outreach
Benefits to Victims
Secondary trauma experienced by victims is reduced.
Parents are empowered to protect and support their children.
Allegations of abuse and neglect are more thoroughly investigated through a team of multi-disciplinary professionals.
Advocates and therapists provide prompt and ongoing emotional support, information and crisis counseling that is tailored to their family needs.
Trained interviewers and medical professionals collect vital evidence.