Information For Parents
Once a child has made a disclosure of child abuse, an investigation into the abuse begins. The first step in this process is to conduct an interview of the child, which serves as their statement to the investigating agency. Our goal is to minimize the trauma experienced by limiting the number of interviews the child is subjected to. The Strafford County CAC brings the multidisciplinary team (MDT) together to observe the interview as it is being conducted. Team members provide input during the interview to assure a complete and comprehensive interview is conducted.
Once the interview is complete, the team meets to discuss what will happen next in the investigation. The team then meets with the child’s non-offending parent/caregiver to explain the stages of the investigation. Each member of the MDT will do their part in the investigation process and the family will be updated as progress is made or changes occur.
What to tell my child
You may be concerned about what to tell your child about the Stafford County Child Advocacy Center and the interview. We suggest that you tell him/her: The Strafford County CAC is a safe place where children go to talk about things that may have happened to them. It is better if you do not question your child prior to the interview. If your child wants to talk about what happened, listen and be supportive. Assure your child that they are not in any trouble. Let your child know that it is all right to talk to the people at the CAC and that they talk to kids all the time about all sorts of things.
Other helpful information for non-offending parents/caregivers
As the child’s non-offending parent/ caregiver you should be prepared to spend between one to two hours at the Strafford County CAC. You may need to spend additional time depending on the number of children whom you are accompanying for interviews. The MDT will meet with you before the interview to review the process and again after the interview to go over any next steps, make any necessary referrals and answer questions. Non-offending parents/caregivers are not allowed to watch the interview.
The single most important factor affecting your child’s recovery is the level of support from the non-offending parents/caregivers.
The Strafford County Child Advocacy Center is a member of the National Children's Alliance and the New Hampshire Network of Child Advocacy Centers. This website is strictly for informational purposes only, and should not replace the counsel of trained professionals. No content or images may be copied without permission. All images of children on this website are professional/stock photos.
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