FAMILY ADVOCACY & SUPPORT SERVICES
In a child abuse case, the perpetrator is usually someone close to the family, or someone who lives in the home. In fact, 90 percent of child abuse victims know, love, and trust their abusers. The abuser may even be a family’s primary breadwinner. Upon their arrest, the entire family is suddenly in crisis. Non-offending family members must have support in order to protect their children and rebuild their lives. The Center’s Family Advocacy and Support Services Department is designed to meet short and long-term needs of children and their non-offending caregivers. We do this by providing a consistent advocate they can rely on to resolve concerns, provide information, and offer resources in the community.
- Advocacy: Family Advocates work collaboratively with the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) and non-offending family members to ensure that the client’s voice is heard.
- Support: Family Advocates provide emotional support for clients as they proceed through the judicial system.
- Information: Family Advocates provide clients information regarding the status of their case and aid in connecting them to resources in the community.
- Assistance with tangible needs: Sometimes, families are in financial crisis and need help with food, clothing, housing, employment, finances, and other aspects of living. Advocates make appropriate referrals and access much-needed resources.
The Family Advocacy and Support Services Department oversees our Rainbow Room, which provides new clothing, essential hygiene items, and safety equipment to children, including those entering foster care and kinship placements. These items are immediately available to children in crisis, and can be accessed by the MDT 24/7. Interns are a critical part of the family advocacy team, allowing the Center to leverage every dollar spent on these essential programs. The Family Advocacy and Support Services Department offers internships each semester, to help educate future social workers and other child welfare professionals.