When a child discloses abuse or abuse is suspected, it can be an uncertain time for the entire family. The Tree House, Inc. offers Forensic Interviews and Advocacy services to help children and families get through this time. When a suspected report of abuse is reported to law enforcement and/or the Department of Family and Children Services the next step is to have the child come to The Tree House, Inc. for a Forensic Interview. During a Forensic Interview, a highly trained professional will have a recorded conversation with the child to gather a statement of any possible abuse that occurred or they witnessed. The referring agencies are present at the time of Forensic Interview to coordinate a response, but they do not talk with the child so that the child will feel as comfortable as possible at our center.
When child abuse occurs, it affects the entire family unit. Research demonstrates that 90% of the time the abuser is a family member or someone the child knows and trusts. The Tree House, Inc. provides victims advocacy services to provide support and education to caregivers during this process. The Family Advocate will meet with caregivers prior to the interview and after the interview to offer support and help provide any resources that the family may need. The Family Advocate will continue to be assessable to the family even after the Forensic Interview.
Although Forensic Medical Exams are not provided at The Tree House, Inc., if a child is in need of an exam then we will accompany the child and family to provide additional emotional support. Children are referred to Forensic Medical Exams by the multi-disciplinary team and are conducted at the ACC- SANE Program in Athens, GA.
List of Forensic Services:
Multi-Disciplinary Team Coordination
Forensic Medical Exam Accompaniment
Expert Court Testimony in Criminal and Juvenile Court
Assistance with Victim Compensation