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Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center uses a multidisciplinary team model to provide continuing and lasting support.

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At Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center, we work with children affected by physical and sexual abuse, drug endangerment and the witnessing of violence. We provide a safe and caring environment where children and their non-abusive parent(s) or guardians can receive services and emotional support under one roof.

We are a child-focused facility that provides forensic interviews, forensic medicals, mental health and victim advocate services to victims of child abuse between the ages of 0 to 18. Providing these services in a single location can help alleviate additional stress and trauma that these children can experience by moving between agencies. The following services are available to victims:

Forensic interview

The purpose of the forensic interview is an investigative interview to determine the likelihood of child abuse and to assess the safety and mental health concerns of the child at the present moment. As such the Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center provides forensic interviews at the request of DSS, law enforcement, solicitor’s office and pursuant to request of any judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit or pursuant to Family Court order during investigations of child abuse and neglect.

Forensic exam

The purpose of the exam is to evaluate the medical condition of the child, to complete lab testing deemed necessary by the physician, to prescribe necessary medical treatment, to collect evidence for use in the prosecution of child abuse cases and to provide reassurance to the child and family regarding the physical integrity of the child’s body.

Mental health

The Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center provides specialized trauma-focused mental health services on-site for the child client age 3 to 18 years of age. The Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center offers Psychoeducation, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Protection Clarification Therapy and group therapy services. The Dickerson Children’s Advocacy offers a Non-Offending Caregiver Support Group on a quarterly basis. The non-offending caregiver support group is a psychoeducational, closed group format providing support and education to parents whose children have experienced sexual abuse. The Dickerson Children’s Center mental health providers complete a full trauma-informed assessment and match mental health clients with appropriate services on-site or through referral. In addition, the Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center provides the following services:

  • Crisis counseling services;
  • Trauma-specific assessment including full trauma and biopsychosocial history;
  • Family/caregiver engagement through individual and group parent/caregiver support and education;
  • Individualized treatment plan that is periodically assessed;
  • Individualizes evidence-informed treatment appropriate for the children and family seens informed by comprehensive assessment as well as MDT sharing of information and recommendations;
  • Clinical supervision provided by a licensed clinician (individual and group) as well as ongoing peer consultation and review;
  • Referral to other community services as needed.

Victim advocacy

The Victim Advocate provides support, education, referral and crisis intervention to the child and their non-offending family members in an effective, time-sensitive manner. Ongoing support is offered to clients of Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center by the VA, providing follow-up contact with all families at a minimum of six weeks and up to six month after contact has ended with Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center. On-site therapy is continued or restarted as necessary.

To find out more information about the services offered, visit them here: dickersoncac.org

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