The Children’s Justice Center is one of 20 homelike facilities across the state of Utah that serve children and families who are experiencing the crisis and chaos that comes with the disclosure of significant physical or sexual abuse and other crimes involving children such as domestic violence. The Center is designed to help children feel safe and comfortable so they may begin to deal with the difficult and often frightening issues that surround abuse.
Traditionally, investigation of child abuse required multiple interviews of the child victim by the police, social services, medical personnel, mental health professionals and attorneys. Each interview occurred at a different place and rarely in a setting that was familiar or comfortable for the child. The Children’s Justice Center is place for the child with a homelike environment, where necessary interviews can occur in an atmosphere that is non-threatening to the child.
The goal is to provide a comprehensive and coordinated response in exploring allegations; to provide recommendations to parents regarding the safety or treatment needs of the child; and to stabilize the crisis often experienced by the family.
The Washington County Children’s Justice Center staff is available to answer questions regarding alleged abuse, the legal system, and to provide prevention information.
Services offered through the Children’s Justice Center:
The center is designed to make children feel comfortable and safe when they are meeting with investigators and other team members about allegations of abuse.
Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) Investigation
Professionals from several different agencies collaborate on each child’s case. This team approach increases coordination among child protection and criminal justice agencies, allowing them to track a child’s progress through the investigation, judicial process, and treatment.
Specially trained professionals talk to children about the alleged abuse they have experienced. The goal is to minimize trauma to the child by reducing the number of times a child must talk about his or her experiences.
The center provides abused children and their families with referrals for support services, such as mental health therapy, medical care, and victim resources.
Multi-disciplinary team members receive ongoing training to ensure that children receive the most professional care possible.