Onslow County Partnership for Children: The Center’s mission is to champion the needs of sexually and severely physically abused children through prevention, intervention, therapy and collaboration. Each day, a team of law enforcement, child protective services, advocates, medical providers and the District Attorney’s Office provide families safety, support and the resources they need to begin to heal.

We are a private non-profit agency that advocates and provides services for the healthy development of children, by building the strengths and capacities of families, care-giving professionals, and the communities in which they reside.

Child Advocacy Center

Chronic stressful conditions—or what scientists now call “toxic stress” — can literally release poisons into the brain, disrupting how its architecture develops. This can lead to lifelong difficulties in learning, memory and self-regulation.

Child abuse is one of these chronic conditions. We know that children who are exposed to abuse develop an exaggerated stress response that, over time, weakens their defense system against diseases, from heart disease to diabetes and depression.

The purpose of the Child Advocacy Center is to prevent these life-long problems by providing a comprehensive, culturally competent, multidisciplinary team response to allegations of child abuse in a dedicated, child-friendly setting. The Center, which serves local children birth to age 17 and their families, works to reduce the trauma of sexual and physical abuse and to promote healing.

A Team Approach

A children’s advocacy center is a child-focused, facility-based program in which representatives from many disciplines, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy, child advocacy, work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases.

To the maximum extent possible, the team does its work on site at the Center, in order to promote a sense of safety and consistency for the child and family. The Center itself is designed to provide complete separation of victims and alleged offenders, and it allows for interviews to be observed by team members while the interview is taking place. The Center is maintained in a manner that is physically safe and “child proof” for children of all ages, and there is tight supervision by staff and volunteers at all times—with separate areas for case consultation and discussion and for meeting and waiting areas for family members. The Center also provides access to materials and toys that reflect the needs and interests of the diverse population of children served.

Affiliated with the National Children’s Alliance

The Center is affiliated with the National Children's Alliance, which strongly believes that the combined professional wisdom and skill of the multidisciplinary team approach results in a more complete understanding of case issues and the most effective child- and family-focused system response possible.

The Center is committed to upholding the following program components and characteristics mandated by the National Children’s Alliance:

  1. Child-Appropriate/Child-Friendly Facility: A Children’s Advocacy Center provides a comfortable, private, child-friendly setting that is both physically and psychologically safe for clients.
  2. Multidisciplinary Team (MDT): A multidisciplinary team for response to child abuse allegations includes representation from the following: law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, mental health, medical, victim advocacy, Children’s Advocacy Center
  3. Organizational Capacity: A designated legal entity responsible for program and fiscal operations has been established and implements basic sound administrative practices.
  4. Cultural Competency and Diversity: The CAC promotes policies, practices and procedures that are culturally competent. Cultural competency is defined as the capacity to function in more than one culture, requiring the ability to appreciate, understand and interact with members of diverse populations within the local community.
  5. Forensic Interviews: Forensic interviews are conducted in a manner which is of a neutral, fact finding nature, and coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing.
  6. Medical Evaluation: Specialized medical evaluation and treatment are to be made available to CAC clients as part of the team response, either at the CAC or through coordination and referral with other specialized medical providers.
  7. Therapeutic Intervention: Specialized mental health services are to be made available as part of the team response, either at the CAC or through coordination and referral with other appropriate treatment providers.
  8. Victim Support/Advocacy: Victim support and advocacy are to be made available as part of the team response, either at the CAC or through coordination with other providers, throughout the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings.
  9. Case Review: Team discussion and information sharing regarding the investigation, case status and services needed by the child and family are to occur on a routine basis.
  10. Case Tracking: CACs must develop and implement a system for monitoring case progress and tracking case outcomes for team components.
CAC Hallway
Hallway to the Child Advocacy Center

Family Waiting Room
Family Waiting Room

Medical Suite
Medical Suite
Family Waiting Room
Family Waiting Room
Interview Room
Interview Room

Team Observation Room
Team Observation Room

Supported by: Governor's Crime Commission Grant, United Way of Onslow County and a member of the National Children's Alliance

child advocacy center supporters

 

Contact the Child Advocacy Center at 910-353-5000
Fax number is 910-333-0604