HOW CAN AN ADVOCATE HELP MY FAMILY?
HCCAC’s Family Advocates serve as the initial point of contact for children and families who are referred to the Center for services. They will be your advocate during the entire investigative process and will be available to you to answer questions, assist you with Crime Victims’ Services (CVC) paper work, assist with referrals to appropriate community resources that may be able to help you with financial, housing, medical or other needs, and accompany you and your child to court should you request it. Additionally, if you have questions about the status of your case Family Advocates can work as a liaison between you and law enforcement and/or the District Attorney’s office.
At HCCAC, the Family Advocate’s primary focus is to provide protective caregivers with immediate crisis intervention, ongoing case management and follow-up care so caregivers have the support they need to take care of their child, their family, and themselves.
After a child begins his or her forensic interview, the Family Advocate will then visit with the parents or guardians of the child to perform an initial crisis and needs assessment. These assessments allow the Family Advocate to provide quality crisis intervention and accurate and timely coordination of social service referrals as needed.
After the Family Advocate completes the initial family assessment, he or she will then work with the family to develop a comprehensive service plan to ensure that the family is able to receive access to quality mental health and medical care as needed and social services (e.g. food assistance, gas cards, rent & utility bill assistance, etc.) as requested. The case plan also serves as a way to help the family secure and maintain the safety and security of the child victim and as well as any other non-offending family members in the child’s home or social circle (e.g. school, church, daycare, etc.)
After the initial assessments are completed and the service plan has been created, the Family Advocate will then begin the process of initiating requested referrals to various partner agencies in and around the Center’s service area and/or around the client’s home community. Families are actively encouraged to contact other service providers on their own if they wish. Nevertheless, they can always reach out to the Family Advocate assigned to their case for help and support whenever needed.
FOLLOW UP ASSESSMENTS
Follow-up assessments are completed periodically with the family after the initial interview has taken place and initial referrals have been made. This gives the family time to regroup after their initial visit to the Center and make contact with therapists and social service agencies as needed. In addition to periodic follow-up assessments, families should expect to be contacted once to complete a survey of services. This survey is an opportunity for the family to provide constructive feedback regarding their experience at the Center.
ONGOING CASE COORDINATION & ADVOCACY
Following the family’s initial visit to the Center and the initial follow-up contact, the Family Advocate will then shift his or her focus to providing ongoing case coordination, advocacy and support for the family. The Family Advocate will serve as the family’s primary advocate at meetings of the multidisciplinary team and will work to coordinate counseling and other services as requested by the family. Should the family need additional support, they are more than welcome to contact one of our Family Advocates to schedule an appointment to stop by the Center for one-on-one support.