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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 (CAC) is a child friendly center with three locations (in Jamison, Fairless Hills and Perkasie, Pennsylvania) to accommodate central, lower and upper Bucks County residents.  When there are allegations of abuse, children can be interviewed by someone carefully trained to interview children (Forensic Interviewer).  A multidisciplinary team of professionals representing Bucks County Children and Youth, law enforcement and the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, watch the interview from another room allowing the interview to remain one on one between the child and the interviewer, so as not to overwhelm the child  An Advocate greets children and their parents/caregivers upon arrival and guides parents/caregivers through the interview process, providing valuable information and referral resources.

 

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 Interviewer.  Forensic Interviewers have on-going extensive training and experience in child development and talking with children.  They are neutral and focused on gathering information at your child’s pace.  The interview is not a counseling session or psychological evaluation, but an conversation using open-ended, non-leading, legally sound questions. 


CAN I WATCH THE INTERVIEW?

No, only professionals who are involved in the investigation are allowed to observe the interview.  This reduces the stress that children may feel when talking about what may have happened and maintains the neutral setting.  When the interview is finished, the professional team will answer your questions and let you know the next steps.

  

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 that seems like new information, contact your law enforcement officer, Children & Youth Worker, or the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center.


VICTIM ADVOCATE SERVICES

During and after the interview an advocate is available to accompany you through the legal and healing process.  The victim advocate provides support, information and referral services, case management, court support and other assistance if needed.  The advocate has access to information about medical evaluation, counseling services as well as financial assistance through Crime Victim’s Compensation.  The Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center has a specialized advocate on staff and access to the resources of the Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) advocacy department.