Advocate News


06.01.2017

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Advocacy Tip: ChildSafe

ChildSafe

ChildSafe was established in 1992 with the goal to prevent the re-victimization of abused children by the system’s response to their cases. ChildSafe was built on the fundamental concept of strong collaborations with a Multi-disciplinary Team that includes the San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sherriff’s Office, Bexar County Juvenile Probation, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Texas Department of Family Protective Services, and The Center for Miracles. Last year, ChildSafe served over 3,400 individuals. The number of individuals served through our clinical therapy services increased by 49% and counseling sessions performed by 60%.

Services and Programs

ChildSafe offers a safe, child-friendly environment where a Multi-disciplinary Team works together to review cases, share information, and compare needs to ensure the most effective response and plan of action for the child and family. The Multi-disciplinary Team members help coordinate efforts that reduce trauma to the abused child, their supportive family members, and other caregivers. ChildSafe is able to conduct Forensic Interviews with children aged 3-18 who may have been victims of abuse and prove referrals for medical exams if needed. ChildSafe offers Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, both of which are evidenced-based clinical treatment models. In addition to therapy services, ChildSafe’s programs also include an Adventure Therapy Program, Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth Project with Bexar County Juvenile Probation, and the United Way Military Family Project.

Advocacy

Children who have been victims of sexual abuse or who have witnessed violence are often referred to ChildSafe during the investigation stage of the CPS case. As the children’s CASA volunteer you can request to review any forensic interviews that were recorded and any other information from the investigation. You can also recommend that a child receive counseling through ChildSafe, especially in cases of sexual abuse. If your CASA children make any new outcries of abuse during the legal case, you can recommend to the caseworker that they be referred to ChildSafe therapy services.

  1. List the different agencies that make up the Multi-Disciplinary Team.
  2. True or False. A four year old child can be referred to ChildSafe for a forensic interview.
  3. Explain how ChildSafe’s use of a Multi-Disciplinary Team can benefit victims of abuse.


To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Leticia Hernandez at lhernandez@casa-satx.org.

Advocacy Tip: ChildSafe