Every child has the right to a safe, permanent home; a loving and supportive environment; and the opportunity to be a child. Each year in the United States, millions of children are abused, neglected, or abandoned by their families. Eventually, many of these children end up in court with a judge deciding their future. Sometimes children become victims again, victims of an overburdened child welfare system. Sometimes a child can remain adrift in the system for months, even years. Every child deserves to begin their journey to recovery through a children's advocacy center, a child-friendly place where even the smallest and most vulnerable of child victims can feel safe telling what has happened to them and where their healing can begin.
We are a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of children through treatment, advocacy, prevention, and education. We offer space for all CAPS’ programs, as well as, a child friendly atmosphere for our multidisciplinary response to child abuse and neglect. We offer the benefit of immediate follow-up on child abuse reports, better coordination of medical and mental health referrals, fewer child victim interviews, increased successful prosecution and a consistent continuum of support services to victims and their non-offending family members. We received national accreditation in June of 2004, becoming the first CAC in the state to attain ranking. Services are comprehensive and community oriented.
Our agency provides a variety of services to Franklin County, Pittsylvania County, Patrick County, Henry County and Martinsville. Read below for more information on our specific programs.
COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES (CASA)
Our CASA program is committed to advocating for the best interests of children involved in judicial proceedings which involve allegations of abuse and neglect. They recruit, train, and supervise competent volunteers dedicated to advocating for safe, permanent homes for all children and seek to educate the community concerning the needs of abused and neglected children.
Children exposed to trauma, their siblings and/or non-offending caretakers may be eligible for referral through CART. Individuals who are referred and elect to receive services are provided an assessment and informed of treatment options. Treatment typically includes 12-26 sessions of weekly therapy in which both the child(ren) and non-offending caretakers participate. Our objective is to improve the overall well-being of the client(s), manage symptoms related to trauma exposure and accomplish other agreed-upon goals. All clinicians are trained in empirically supported models of treatment for trauma, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and prolonged exposure therapy. Contact Dr. Dahl, Director of Clinical Services, for more information.
This partnership with Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center and Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital’s Forensic Nurse Examiner Program provides children access to comprehensive medical examinations conducted by Forensic Nurse Examiners. Forensic medical examinations provide comprehensive review of current or previous medical issues, preventative care measures and forensic evidence collection. These examinations are offered on site at the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center and at Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department. The Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center offers a safe, child friendly environment with a fully equipped examination room.
DARKNESS TO LIGHT
D2L - Stewards of Children introduces a curriculum that educates the community about child sexual abuse and surrounding issues, increases the identification of child abuse, child neglect, and child sexual abuse, and teaches community members how to report concerns of abuse and neglect. Skills developed in the D2L - Stewards of Children empower community members to share in the protection of children by effectively identifying, responding to and reporting child abuse.
CHILD ABUSE REVIEW TEAM (CART)
This team coordinates the services of multiple organizations to provide a better understanding of cases involving child abuse and neglect. The purpose of this team is to ensure that the varied needs of victims are fulfilled in a timely manner. CART facilitates joint forensic interviews and investigations, provides comprehensive case management, supports prosecution efforts, offers victim and family advocacy, and enables medical and clinical assessments and treatments to be provided efficiently.
Some of the community resources involved in CART include: Law enforcement, Department of Social Services, Public Schools, Clinical service providers, Forensic nurse examiner, Child Forensic Interviewers, Victim Advocates, Family Resource Center, Court Services, Child Advocacy Center staff members
Interviewing process that eliminates the need for duplicative interviews of children who have allegations of abuse or neglect or are deemed at risk. Forensic interviews are conducted by best-practice model trained individuals who use unbiased, legally sound, and developmentally appropriate methods. These interviews include the observations and input of law enforcement and DSS involved in the case.
OTHER SERVICES INCLUDE:
Victim and Family Advocacy
Information & Referral
Criminal Injuries Compensation Filing
Closed Circuit for Victims Testifying in Court
Specialized Training Opportunities
Community Outreach and Education