What is a Children's Advocacy Center?

To learn more about what a Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) is and what the 17 CACs in South Carolina do, please view the video below. 

Forensic Interviews

A forensic interview is a neutral, fact-finding interview utilized when there is a concern for abuse. A forensic interview provides a comfortable, unbiased, child-friendly setting and uses non-suggestive, non-leading interview techniques. All of Hopeful Horizon’s Forensic Interviewers are trained in the nationally-recognized ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol. Through coordination of services with our community partner agencies, care is taken to minimize the number of interviews a child receives, optimize the child’s comfort level, and protect the integrity of the case for investigation and prosecution.

Forensic interviews can only be requested by DSS or Law Enforcement. Hopeful Horizons cannot complete forensic interviews at the request of parents, guardians or school personnel.

Trauma Assessment

Children who have experienced abuse or trauma are at increased risk for developing emotional and behavioral difficulties. A trauma assessment includes an evaluation of common difficulties children may have. This appointment lasts approximately 1.5 hours and includes the caregiver and child, each meeting with a trained therapist. In addition, caregivers and children ages 7 and older will answer questionnaires about the child’s emotions and behaviors. The results are used to help guide recommendations for the child and family. Trauma assessments are provided at no cost to the child or family.

Hopeful Horizons' staff are experts in child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault and the trauma associated with this violence and abuse.

 

Hopeful Horizons' therapists are trained and certified in evidence-based trauma treatments, are licensed and have Master's degrees in social work/counseling. Our Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) is nationally accredited and as such the staff has to meet the National Children's Alliance standards for providing mental health services to victims of child abuse.

On Site Therapy/Treatment

At Hopeful Horizons, we are committed to using treatments that have been proven in research to be effective. Based on the needs identified in the mental health assessment, children and their caregivers find the services they need at Hopeful Horizons or are referred to programs available elsewhere in the community.

Hopeful Horizons' staff are experts in child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault and the trauma associated with this violence and abuse.

 

Hopeful Horizons' therapists are trained and certified in evidence-based trauma treatments, are licensed and have Master's degrees in social work/counseling. Our Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) is nationally accredited and as such the staff has to meet the National Children's Alliance standards for providing mental health services to victims of child abuse.

•            Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT; Cohen, Deblinger & Mannarino, 2004) is an evidence-based treatment that integrates cognitive behavioral techniques with trauma-specific interventions. The model has been researched in numerous randomized clinical trials and is considered the Best Practice model for reducing traumatized children’s emotional and behavioral problems. Children and families who receive TF-CBT meet weekly with a therapist, both individually and jointly. This treatment typically lasts 12-20 sessions. After Crisis: Helping Your Child Heal

For more information on cognitive behavioral therapy, take some time to listen to this podcast from This American Life. This is the story of a young woman who was a sexually assaulted as a child. While it can difficult to listen to, it is an excellent overview of treatment. 

•            Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention Therapy (CFTSI): The Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) is a family strengthening intervention that aims to reduce early post‐traumatic stress symptoms; to decrease the likelihood of traumatized children developing long‐term post‐traumatic psychiatric disorders; and to identify children who need longer‐term mental health care. Intended for children 7 to 18 years old who have either recently experienced or disclosed traumatic events, CFTSI has demonstrated exciting results. In a randomized control trial conducted by the Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center (CVTC), children who received CFTSI were 65% less likely than comparison youth to meet criteria for full Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at the three month follow‐up and were 73% less likely than comparison youth to meet combined criteria for partial and full PTSD at the three month follow‐up FAQ Sexual Abuse Treatment

 

•            Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT; Eyberg et al., 2001) is an evidence-based treatment for children ages 2 through 7 years with disruptive behavior disorders. It has been further developed to address the emotional, behavioral, and relationship problems that are commonly seen among maltreated children and their caregivers (Urquiza and McNeil, 1996). Both caregivers and children participate together in PCIT, which lasts approximately 20 sessions. Over 50 randomized controlled trials support the efficacy of PCIT in reducing children’s behavioral problems. In addition, children with histories of sexual abuse who demonstrated predominantly behavioral problems have been included in effectiveness trials for PCIT (Timmer, Ware, Urquiza & Zebell, 2010).

Child Abuse Medical Evaluation

When children experience abuse, they and their protective caregivers often have concerns about their bodies. Hopeful Horizons’ Child Abuse Medical Provider is able to provide expert evaluation that can alleviate many of the concerns and provide the necessary treatment when there are injuries. In any child abuse case, the collection of physical evidence is critical and our medical provider is able to expertly collect these evidence that can be very helpful in investigation and prosecution. Hopeful Horizons’ Child Abuse Medical Provider is part of the South Carolina Children’s Advocacy Medical Response Team made up of a network of pediatricians, ER physicians and pediatric nurse practitioners who are trained to determine whether there is medical evidence of abuse or neglect. This team meets regularly for peer supervision and consultation.

Multi-Disciplinary Case Coordination

Hopeful Horizons works with community agency partners involved in a particular case — including medical, legal, law enforcement, educators, social services, guardians ad litem, and mental health — to take appropriate action as quickly as possible. Case coordination occurs through bi-monthly multidisciplinary team (MDT) staffing, where professionals give input into the assessment of needs and the development of safety and treatment plans. Recommendations and updates regarding protection, case management, prosecution and needed services are discussed by the staffing team and the progress of each case is monitored through the MDT process. This MDT approach increases coordination, decreases duplication which result in more positive case outcomes for children and families.

Advocacy

Hopeful Horizons has on-site Family Advocates who meet with caregivers to help explain the process of services and case coordination through Hopeful Horizons.  Our Family Advocates help parents understand the system and professionals involved along with helping connect children and families with needed resources. Families receive routine follow up calls from our Family Advocates who will help assess the ongoing needs of the families and children.  In addition, our volunteer Child Advocates help ensure our lobby is safe and welcoming for children and families.

24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-800-868-2632 (SC only) or  843-770-1070

Business Number: 843-524-2256

Fax: 843-524-0597

Beaufort Office: 

1212 Charles Street

Beaufort, SC 29902

Bluffton Office:  

10 Pinckney Colony Road, Suite 101

Bluffton, SC 29909

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1775

Beaufort, SC 29901

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

 Web presence by 1212.design