what to expect at CPC
during your visit
A Welcoming Environment
CPC will provide a welcoming, child-friendly place and a Family Advocate for you and your child. Your advocate will be ready to answer all your questions and will discuss services, if needed, as well as future follow up.
A trained Forensic Interviewer, or investigator, will meet with your child to inquire what has happened to him/her. The interview is recorded in order to avoid multiple in-depth interviews to the child and to provide a copy to the investigative agency. A DVD is not given to the family.
The interview is child-centered, so the child dictates the flow and length of the interview. No child gets forced into talking. When the interview is over, the interviewer will bring your child back to the front office, but won’t be able to meet with you, ONLY the advocate.
CPC does not lead investigations, so if you have any questions regarding the status of a case, please check with the law enforcement authority/agency involved in the case.
after your visit
The Family Advocate will help your family or child connect with any resources necessary, such as therapy, legal aid, etc. The advocate can work on your child’s behalf, or give you information to start accessing resources.
The Family Advocate will follow up with you by phone or appointment to make sure that your child and your family is receiving all the resources available. This is a good time to talk to the Family Advocate about any challenges your family is facing.
While CPC does not lead investigations, we may be able to help you find out answers to your questions regarding the status of the case.
Always feel free to contact CPC or your family advocate if you have any questions. We are here to help your child!
how to respond to abuse
How does CPC support children?
At CPC, the child is our first priority. All of the services and programs offered are designed to meet the needs of the child first. We accommodate children in ways such as letting children explore the center, scheduling interviews around their daily routines, and offering a safe, protected place that is child-friendly.
What is involved in a forensic interview?
Forensic interviews are conducted an interviewer trained in a wide spectrum of areas related to childhood development, sexual abuse dynamics, and other pertinent issues. Children are never forced to talk. CPC has a full-time forensic interviewer who works closely with investigative agencies. How do children come to CPC? Last year CPC saw roughly 300 children and their families come to our center. Only children who have been referred through DCFS, CACD or local law enforcement come to CPC.
How many times will a child be interviewed about the abuse?
One of the main goals of CPC is to reduce trauma to children during an investigation. Research has shown that children can re-experience the trauma of abuse every time they talk about it. We work to minimize the number of in-depth interviews a child must have. Police, DCFS and CACD may ask basic questions to assure the child’s safety. In most cases, a child will be interviewed only once with a professional interviewer.
Is there a charge for CPC services?
No. CPC is a non-profit organization. Our center depends on grants and contributions from our community to provide on-site services free of charge. In some cases, referral agencies may require payment, but our Family Advocate works with the families and those agencies to make the best possible arrangement.
Are medical exams performed at CPC?
Sometimes children who come to CPC will need to have a specialized medical evaluation. The purpose of the medical evaluation is to help ensure the health and safety of children, to diagnose and address any medical conditions resulting from abuse, to collect important evidence and to reassure children and their caregivers. CPC offers specialized exams to children at no cost to families.
Does CPC work for DCFS or the police?
No. CPC works for your child and your family. DCFS and local police make appointments with CPC after a child abuse report is made to the Child Abuse Hotline. Once an appointment has been made, CPC works with all the agencies involved to address the needs of the child and the investigation. CPC is a part of a team approach, but is an independent non-profit agency.
Do children or families stay at CPC?
No. CPC is not a shelter. However, CPC works with several shelters and helps children and their families access these resources if they are needed. In those cases in which a child has been removed from his or her home, DCFS will arrange accommodation. What does the Family Advocate do at CPC? The Family Advocate helps the child and family address their unique needs. She helps the family create a plan of action. After the visit to CPC, the Family Advocate follows up with the family to inquire about any progress, concerns, questions or other needs.
child abuse resources
CPC works closely with several family organizations to ensure our families’ needs are met. If you need more information about the assistance available to you and your family, please visit the resources page.