Following a disclosure of child abuse or exposure to a traumatic experience, the child and family may feel a significant loss of control; many families are in crisis and need assistance and support in navigating the multiple systems involved in the investigative process. Your family may be experiencing a wide range of emotions and may be unable to process all of the information received from the various agencies involved. Our team includes a dedicated CAC advocate who will provide a consistent and supportive point of contact for your family throughout the duration of the case. The advocate will assure that you and your child has up-to-date information, ongoing access to comprehensive services, and support and advocacy throughout the duration of the case.
Our CAC advocate will meet with you and your child during your CAC appointment, may accompany your child to medical exams, will provide advocacy, court preparation, and accompaniment throughout any criminal proceedings, and will offer ongoing follow-up support for your child and non-offending family members. The CAC advocate will inform you and your child of your rights as crime victims, including eligibility for Crime Victims Compensation.
Our advocate can provide ongoing support to caregivers to address stressors related to: changes in household composition, financial hardships, child placement, medical evidence/injuries from abuse, arrest, delay in court proceedings, and preparation for court attendance/testifying. The needs of your child and family will be assessed on an ongoing basis by the team, and the CAC advocate will work closely with the CAC case manager to make referrals to the appropriate providers and community based services, as necessary.
Our CAC advocate plays a key role in helping non-offending caregivers support their child throughout the investigation and prosecution of the case. Our CAC advocate’s job is to listen and support in whatever way possible and to seek out information and resources. Please utilize the support offered by our CAC advocate along every step of the way.
What Parents Tell Us They Need the Most:
To have someone to talk to
To know what will be happening next and when
To be treated as a person --- not ignored and not invisible
To regain control of their life
To access information about protection orders, shelter care, domestic violence and counseling
In addition to our CAC advocate, the CAC can refer your family to the following victim service agencies. If you and/or your child are already working with an advocate at one of these agencies, we encourage you to bring your advocate to your child’s CAC appointment.
Victim Services, Inc. provides services to victims in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Click HERE for more information. Services include: victim accompaniment, court preparation, assistance with Victims Compensation Claims, victim notification, 24-hour crisis hotline, referrals to other resources, counseling, support groups, education programs for children, trauma sensitive yoga, and trauma-informed therapy. 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-755-1983
The Women’s Help Center provides services to victims in Cambria County. Click HERE for more information. Services include: emergency shelter for domestic violence victims, 24-hour hotline, legal advocacy, court accompaniment and advocacy, referrals for services, assistance with Protection From Abuse Orders, counseling – individual and group, parenting sessions, violence prevention programs and community education. 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-999-7406
Your Safe Haven provides services to victims in Bedford County. Click HERE for more information. Services include: emergency shelter for domestic violence victims, referrals for services, assistance with filing Protection From Abuse Orders, victim counseling and accompaniment, court preparation, counseling, assistance with Crime Victims Compensation claims and understanding your rights as a victim, and educational programs for children and the community.
24-hour Hotline: 1-800-555-7671