How Do I Prepare My Child?

Here are answers to some common questions parents and guardians have before bringing their child to the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center.  If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 267-927-0639.

The Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is a child-friendly facility with three locations (Jamison, Fairless Hills and Perkasie, Pennsylvania) accommodating central, lower and upper Bucks County residents.  When there are allegations of abuse, children participate in a forensic interview conducted by a trained child forensic interview specialist and recorded for investigative purposes.  A multidisciplinary team of professionals representing Bucks County Children and Youth, law enforcement and the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office watch the interview through a closed-circuit television from another room at the CAC. A family support advocate is present at the interview to guide families through the CAC process and to provide support, critical information and referral resources.

Your child will speak with a Child Forensic Interview Specialist trained through the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL. Additionally, forensic interviewers receive ongoing training in best practices and strategies for conducting legally sound, non-leading and developmentally appropriate interviews of children with varying needs and abilities. The forensic interviewer remains neutral and focuses on gathering facts and information at your child’s pace.

No. Only members of the multidisciplinary team who are involved in the investigation are permitted to observe the interview. When the interview is finished, the parent/caregiver meets with the multidisciplinary team to ask questions, receive feedback, and plan follow-up steps.

If your child brings up the subject and wants to talk about it, listen without questioning. Thank your child for talking to you and validate any feelings that he or she may be expressing. If your child does tell you something that seems like new information, contact your law enforcement officer, Children & Youth Worker or the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center. It is best to be truthful with your child about the reason for their visit to the CAC and the people with whom they will be speaking. If you have any questions concerning how to prepare your child for the interview, please call the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center at 267-927-0639.

The CAC Family Support Advocate is present at each interview to assist and guide families through the CAC process. The Family Support Advocate provides support, information and referral services. The Family Support Advocate can discuss and provide referrals to a comprehensive continuum of support services such as medical examinations, counseling, victim advocacy and more.