A child-focused center

Photo credits: Kyle Stephens

Last week, Brittany wrote about the third episode of Michigan Radio’s podcast “Believed,” and today you’ll be able to see her analysis of episode four – but before her new post goes up, I wanted to share some additional thoughts on “The Basement.”

Specifically, I’ve been dwelling on the moment when Kyle’s parents, who felt hesitant about reporting her allegations to the police, took her to see a child psychologist. The psychologist’s office was in his home, and Kyle’s memory is of the brown interiors and the tea the man sipped.

I haven’t been able to shake this image of a nervous child being asked to give embarrassing and traumatic personal details in this unambiguously adult space. The hurt that I felt for Kyle was compounded by the fact that she was denied the services and experience of having an interview at a children’s advocacy center.

At CARE House, our interiors have been designed to be light, open, and colorful, with décor themed and sized to a variety of young age groups. When kids come because police have received a report about suspected abuse, we have child assist volunteers who are just there to acclimate them to our facility and help them to feel comfortable. Our forensic interviewers are trained to work at the child’s pace and comfort level, helping victims disclose without re-traumatizing them.

We’re extremely fortunate to have a building that was designed specifically with the specific needs of a children’s advocacy center in mind. If you haven’t come on a tour to see it, I strongly recommend that you sign up for one to see how we treat the children in our community with care.

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