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Bucks County Children's Advocacy Center

Here are some answers to common questions parents and guardians have before bringing their child to the Bucks County Children's Advocacy Center.  If you have addition questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 267-927-0639.

 

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE BUCKS COUNTY CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER?

Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is a child friendly center located in Jamison, Pennsylvania. We also offer satellite locations in Fairless Hills and Perkasie to accommodate all Bucks County residents. Children ages 3-18 come to the CAC to speak with a specially trained specialist about possible abuse. The Child Advocacy Center process involves a team of professionals from multiple agencies including law enforcement, Bucks County Children and Youth and the Bucks County District Attorneys Office. When you and your child arrive, you will be greeted by an advocate from the Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) who will guide you through the interview process.

 

WHAT DO I TELL MY CHILD ABOUT THE CAC INTERVIEW?

You might tell your child, “You are going to the Children’s Advocacy Center. It is a special place where kids go to talk. The person you will be talking to talks to kids everyday. They want to help make sure you are safe and healthy. It is alright for you to talk to them. You are not in any trouble.”

 

WHO WILL TALK WITH MY CHILD?

Your child will talk to a specifically trained Child Forensic Interview Specialist. They have extensive training and experience in child development and talking with children. The interview is child-centered and sensitive, where information is gathered at your child’s pace. The interview is fact finding only. It is not a counseling session or psychological evaluation. In order to avoid intimidating children through multiple interviews by many professionals, investigative professionals observe the interview through a closed-circuit television in a separate room, all at one time.

 

CAN I WATCH THE INTERVIEW?

No, only those professionals who are directly involved in the investigation are allowed to observe the interview. This is done to reduce the possible stress that can be placed on the child and to provide a neutral setting for the child and investigation. After the interview, the professionals will answer your questions and share with you what will happen next.

 

SHOULD I TALK TO MY CHILD ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED?

No. If your child brings up the subject and wants to talk about it, listen without questioning. Be sure to reassure your child that they will be alright and you are taking care of them. If your child does tell you something, contact your law enforcement officer or the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center.

 

VICTIM ADVOCATE SERVICES

After the interview, NOVA advocates are available to assist parents through the legal and healing process. The victim advocates provide support, information and referral services, case management, court support and other assistance if needed.  Victim Advocates can also provide you information about medical, counseling services as well as financial assistance through Crime Victim’s Compensation.  For more information about their services, check out their website at www.novabucks.org