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 additional information please contact your law enforcement detective, social worker, or Pat’s Place family advocate.
No. Only law enforcement and DSS investigators 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. More information about the forensic interview can be found here.
The law enforcement and DSS investigators are the only agencies able to answer questions regarding the child’s interview. Pat’s Place interviewers and family advocates are not legally able to provide this information to families.
It is helpful to inform your child that someone wishes to talk with him or her about what was reported. It is important to reassure your child and give him or her permission to talk freely; however it is equally important not to rehearse with your child or tell your child what to say. It is important to reinforce that the child will be in a safe place and the adults that they are visiting will let them know exactly what is happening.
If your child receives a medical examination, explain that this is to make sure that his or her body is healthy and safe. Assure your child that this exam will not hurt and that the medical examiner will tell your child everything that she will be doing prior to the exam. This examination is noninvasive and often resembles a well-child exam he/she would receive from their pediatrician.
The law enforcement investigators and DSS will determine the best course of action to protect the child’s best interest.
There is no cost to the families and children seen at the center. The center exists because of the generous financial support of our community.