Children's Cove, the Cape & Islands child advocacy center announced recently that they have earned re-accreditation from the National Children's Alliance. Children's Cove is the Cape's only child-friendly facility for child abuse intervention.
According to the National Children's Alliance, child advocacy centers ensure that a child who discloses abuse is not further victimized by the system. A center such as Children's Cove works with many experts from different disciplines, all under one roof, to streamline the often difficult process of investigating, prosecuting and treating child abuse.
Children's Cove was founded in 1997 and works in partnership with a multi-disciplinary team which includes the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office, Barnstable County, law enforcement in Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Counties, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Cape Cod Healthcare.
The National Children's Alliance requires that all current accredited members participate in a re-evaluation process each five years. To maintain accreditation, the center and its multi-disciplinary team must pass a rigorous inspection process made up of ten points including case tracking, forensic interviews, cultural competency and diversity and child-focused setting. The center's accreditation is now good for another five years.
Children's Cove is one of twelve children's advocacy centers recognized by the National Children's Alliance in Massachusetts and the only one on Cape Cod. According to the Children's Cove website, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Children's Cove sees roughly 200 cases of sexual abuse each year, according to their website. See statistics here. See the National Children's Alliance website for 2012 Massachusetts statistics here.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Visit the Children's Cove website for updates, information and how to be a part of the initiative.