Services

Forensic Services

A primary goal of Bridgehaven Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is to reduce the number of times a child must tell their story. Bridgehaven has designed a neutral, home-like atmosphere for the children who come through our doors. Bridgehaven currently employs trained professionals who have experience in taking children’s disclosures using non-suggestive techniques. Having knowledgeable, neutral interviewers speaking with the children helps to provide a more accurate, consistent account of the abuse from the child. We have bilingual Interviewers.

Interviews are kept to a minimum by recording the child’s disclosure. Partner agencies involved in the civil or criminal case may review the interview as needed without requiring the child to re-tell their story. These recorded interviews result in a more fair and accurate gathering of case information and have also helped to establish a trusting relationship between the child and the adult advocate.

Bridgehaven provides Forensic Interviews to more than 350 children each year. The CAC accepts referrals for forensic interviews from Child Protective Services, Law Enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, the County Attorney’s Office, and at the request of a judge.

Multidisciplinary Team

Bridgehaven supports and coordinates the efforts of the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) that consists of professionals from: Law Enforcement, The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), and the Prosecution.

In the neutral setting of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), team members can collaborate on strategies that will aid investigators and prosecutors without causing further harm to the child. This innovative multidisciplinary team approach significantly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome in court and the long-term healing for the abused child.

The Multidisciplinary Team collaborates to:
          Coordinate Investigations
          Coordinate Medical & Mental Health services
          Limit, when possible, the number of times each child is interviewed
          Provide comfortable, child-friendly settings for interviews
          Provide one central location that the victim and family can receive services
          Increase public awareness about the rate and impact of child sexual abuse

Family Advocacy

Bridgehaven Family Advocates provide a variety of services to each family including, but not limited to:
  •         Crisis Intervention
  •         Victim’s Rights Information
  •         Providing referrals to community resources
  •         Assistance & Information regarding the Crime Victim’s Compensation Act
  •         Accompaniment to medical exams.
  •         Accompaniment to judicial proceedings.
  •         We have bilingual Family Advocates.
Our advocates act as the liaison between victims, their families, and the investigative agencies and legal system.

Outreach

Bridgehaven Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) offers educational presentations on a variety of child abuse related topics. Our innovative curriculum is designed to teach and reinforce personal safety for children and to provide informative material for educators.

All presentations are FREE of charge. Instruction is offered to area schools for teacher in-service training and for student educational formats. Age-Appropriate material is available for grades K-12.

Presentations are also available to local philanthropic and service organizations, PTA’s, parent groups, and churches.

Contact Bridgehaven Children’s Advocacy Center Social Media & Outreach Coordinator, Alyssa Thomas, to request information: athomas@bridgehavencac.org