Prepare for Your Visit

When a report of child sexual abuse is made, either law enforcement or child protective services makes a referral to NMAC. Our intake coordinator is the first point of contact with the victims’ families. She works closely with our forensic interviewer, as well as law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, mental health, and medical professionals on behalf of the victim.

All cases of child sexual abuse are tracked and reviewed to assure excellent, uninterrupted service to clients. Our case tracking system enables NCAC staff to accurately inform children and families about the current status and disposition of their cases. Cases are reviewed via a formal process where representatives of all partner agencies regularly come together to share information, make recommendations for the best outcome for the child, and discuss any other services that the family might need.

This formal process ensures that the knowledge, experience and expertise of members is shared so that informed decisions can be made, collaborative efforts are nurtured, formal and informal communication is provided, and protocols/procedures are followed.

The Process

After arriving at the CAC, you will

  • Be greeted by our Family Advocate, whose role is to provide support, crisis intervention, and referrals for services to meet your specific needs. Her job is to be there for YOU!

  • Fill out some paperwork, which helps explain the process and your rights

  • Get acquainted with our center and the CAC process

Next, you will

  • Meet the Forensic Interviewer, who is a nationally trained and passionate advocate. She will have an unbiased, non-leading, developmentally appropriate, and legally sound conversation with your child

  • Get your own time with the Family Advocate, for support and help with any possible needs or questions you and your family may have, while your child talks with the interviewer.

Finally, you will

  • Get a chance to talk with the Multidisciplinary Team involved with your case – Use this time to ask questions and share any concerns you may have

  • Be told the next steps in the investigation

Preparing for your visit to our center

We understand that this is a scary time for you and your family. Here are some techniques designed to help you prepare your child for his or her visit to our center

Stay Calm

It is normal to have a roller coaster of emotions when it is suspected that your child or a child you care about is the possible victim of abuse. Keep in mind, the child may also be experiencing emotions of their own. In order to help your child deal with their own response, it is important that you, as their caregiver, stay calm and receptive to whatever their response may be. Be careful to avoid emotional responses in front of the child, because those could lead to feelings of guilt or fear that they did something wrong. Don't forget that you also need support through this time, so make sure to rely on other trustworthy adults to process your own feelings.

Believe

Make sure your child feels believed. Remind them that they are not in trouble with you. We want them to feel safe talking about what may have happened, rather than ashamed. "It is not your fault" and "You did not do anything wrong" are excellent statements. Encourage them to always come to you if something happens. Your job as a caregiver is to be a strong foundation for your child and to allow them to rely on you in their time of need.

Prepare

It is best that your child is prepared for their visit to our center. Please DO NOT lie to your child about where they are going. Explain that they are coming to a special place to talk to a friend about something that may have happened to them. For example, "I'm going to bring you to talk to one of my friends about (what happened to you/what you saw) at Uncle Sam's house." If your child has not disclosed information before, you can tell them they are coming to talk with a friend who wants to make sure they are happy and safe. Encourage your child that it is ok for them to talk with us, and you want them to be honest.

Don't Pry

We understand that allegations are often shocking and upsetting, but remember it is not your job to get the facts. Allow your child to come to you if they want to talk with you about the situation, but do not feel like you need to get details. Try to minimize the amount of questions you ask of them. Be receptive, but don't pry. Children are very susceptible to suggestive questioning, and unless you are trained, try to leave the details to our forensic interviewers.

After your visit to our center

At the end of your visit, you will have the opportunity to talk to the investigative multidisciplinary team. You may ask questions and express your concerns. The team will let you know in general terms what they have learned from the interview and how they plan to proceed with the investigation. If you choose, the advocate will keep you informed of the progress of the case and help your family receive the services needed.

  • One-week check in: Our Family Advocate will call or text you, just to check in

  • 30 day update: We'll call or text you to ensure you have an update on your case and assist you with anything else you may need.

  • 60 day email survey: If you've provided an email address, you'll receive a survey that we encourage you to complete! Your input is important to making sure our services meet the needs of children and families. The feedback we receive is priceless!

  • 90 day follow up: Final check in to update you on your case and answer any questions you may have!

This follow-up schedule is not mandatory. You may opt out anytime. We are here to meet the needs of you and your family, for however long necessary.