Wish List

  • Batteries
  • Garbage bags
  • Forever stamps
  • Copier paper
  • Monetary donations
  • Snacks (Goldfish, animal crackers, granola bars, crackers and cheese, string cheese
  • Gift cards for needed supplies for the families (McDonalds, Hungry Hobo, Subway, Hy-Vee, Wal-Mart, Shell, Amoco, Menards, Lowes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Children’s Advocacy Center?

A Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is a not-for-profit organization that facilitates child interviews for cases of extreme physical abuse and sexual abuse cases. Prior to CACs, children who disclosed abuse or were the subject of an investigation alleging abuse would have to recount their story, in detail, to several different entities. Sometimes retelling their story up to ten (10) different times. With the CAC, we have trained, trauma-informed forensic interviewers on staff to interview the children while all of the entities come together to view the child’s interview through a closed circuit camera system. Providing confidentiality and comfort allowing the child(ren) the space they need with minimal to no barriers when sharing their experiences.

What if my child discloses abuse?

The reaction that a child receives when they initially disclose will set the standard for their cooperation with the investigation. If they are doubted, interrogated, or disregarded they may shy away from any more disclosures. However, if met with positive regard and being believed, statistically they are more likely to participate in the investigation.

Do Don't
Start by Believing them and thank them for telling you. Do not call them a liar or question them about why they didn’t tell you sooner
Listen to your child. Just let them talk. Do not question your child about the accusation or interrogate them.
Reassure your child they are not in trouble and what happened to them is not their fault Do not Restrict their movements or activities any more than necessary to keep them safe from continuous harm. For example: if you don’t allow them to continue with activities such as sports or playing outside, they may feel like they are being punished.
Let them know they are safe with you and that you will protect them now that you know Do not make their abuse an inconvenience to you or over explain to them what this is doing to you.
Let them know you must follow up with the authorities dedicated to protecting children Do not offer to keep a secret for them or promise to not tell anyone.
How is a forensic interview scheduled?

When a report of abuse is taken either by Law Enforcement or the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) they will contact the Children’s Advocacy Center and we will coordinate a date and time for the interview based on the availability of the child victim and their caregiver, Law Enforcement, DCFS and the RI Co. State’s Attorney’s Office. Parents, caregivers, or community members can not schedule an interview.

Can a caregiver schedule an appointment for an interview?

No. Only Law Enforcement, DCFS, and/or the State’s Attorney’s office can make referrals for forensic interviews.

How do I prepare my child for the visit to the Children’s Advocacy Center?

First and foremost, give your child permission to share their story with the interviewer. Letting them know that it is a safe and confidential space.

Will my child need a medical exam?

Oftentimes, if a child has experienced abuse whether physical or sexual, it is safe to have them be checked over by a medical professional. Depending on the allegations, a child may require a full forensic exam. The CAC can also refer children to a pediatric specialist to be examined.

Can parents or caregivers accompany a child into the interview?

No. The interview will just be the trained forensic interviewer and child victim. This is protocol since the recorded interview is considered evidence. This keeps the chain of custody intact and prosecutors/defense attorneys will not be able to subpoena parents or caregivers to testify about the interview.

What happens next?

The forensic interview is the first step into the abuse investigation. After your child’s interview, your child will rejoin you in the waiting room. The investigators will meet with you(parent/caregiver) and discuss what next steps in your case will be. You will be provided with contact information for everyone involved in the case and assigned a family advocate that can assist you throughout the life of the case.

Does the Rock Island County Children’s Advocacy Center offer counseling or therapy services?

Yes. Our Center employs a full-time in house therapist. Our therapist specialized in trauma based therapy services. Services are available to children and their families seen here at the CAC.

How do I (parents/caregivers) get through this process?

This process is never an easy process. There is hope and there is assistance available. You aren’t in this alone. Our therapist will be available to schedule with you or your family advocate will be there to answer any questions you may have or to help with any resources you may need.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have outside of this to your advocate day of the interview.

How to report Abuse

If your suspect a child is being abused, call the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at 1-800-252-2873.