Making the investigative system child-friendly and accessible
Putting the Child’s Needs First From The Start
Before places like SungateKids existed, child victims who disclosed abuse had to navigate their way through a confusing system that required them to talk about what happened multiple times and forced them to relive their experience over and over — often re-traumatizing the child. What’s more, investigations were disjointed, with little communication between agencies.
Children’s advocacy centers, like SungateKids, were created to:
- Ensure that the best interests of the child victim were at the forefront of every step in the process
- Streamline investigations
- Enhance coordination and communication between agencies
Forensic interviewing is, quite simply, a search for the truth. Interviewers are there to find out what, if anything, happened.
Important components of forensic interviewing are:
- Giving children the opportunity to speak in their own time and their own voices
- Ensuring that the response system is truly responsive, professional, trauma-informed, and victim-centered
- Working together with law enforcement, child protective services, the District Attorney’s Office, and medical and mental health professionals using a multidisciplinary team model to ensure that the child’s best interests are a paramount consideration
Victim Advocacy Services
SungateKids’ Family Support Coordinators (FSCs) are an invaluable resource and an integral part of the Investigative Interview Program. They work closely with the family during the interview process and long after its completion to ensure that children and families get the support and services they need by:
- Knowing how to work with families in crisis, how to listen, and the right questions to ask
- Helping to provide services and resources
- Following up with families to provide ongoing support
Our Process and Difference
Restoring Childhood, Creating Hope
Every detail at SungateKids has been planned to make our visitors feel welcome, comfortable and safe. Our child-friendly facility offers:
- Comfortable waiting room filled with toys and books
- Pleasant interview rooms
- A facility dog is available upon request to assist those who need additional support
SungateKids serves all victims, without regard to:
- Socioeconomic status
- Sexual orientation
- Physical ability
SungateKids does not charge fees for any of our services or programs and provides translators free of charge to all victims and/or family members who need them, including those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Our services are available on an emergency basis, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year.
What to Expect When You Visit SungateKids
When you come to SungateKids for a forensic interview, you can expect to be greeted by a Family Support Coordinator who will explain the process to you and help answer any questions you may have. If your child has special needs, please let us know in advance so that we may make accommodations.