In a child-sensitive environment, the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center provides an array of investigative and advocacy services to child victims of abuse and their non-offending family members. Expert medical evaluations, videotaped forensic interviews, crisis intervention and case coordination with law enforcement and Division of Child Safety are all provided in one place. Children who cannot return to their family home receive clothing, books, a blanket and teddy bear to take to temporary foster care. They are fed at the Center if they are hungry, and they are comforted and cared for by trained staff.
The Children’s Advocacy Center also works with the community to prevent child victimization and stop the cycle of abuse. The Prevention Specialist teach hundreds of school age children annually how to keep themselves safe and report abuse if they believe it has happened. The Outreach Coordinator provides training to adult professionals throughout southern Arizona on the Mandated Reporting law, including staff from schools, day cares, hospitals and agencies working with children. This ensures that adults will immediately report any allegation of abuse, so the child victims can receive needed services and the offenders will be apprehended and prosecuted. The signs and indicators of the four types of child abuse (physical, sexual, emotional and neglect) are also reviewed and discussed.