A primary goal of the Southern Nevada Children’s Assessment Center is to reduce the number of times a child has to tell his/her disclosure of abuse. Child abuse victims are interviewed in our child friendly facility to reduce the stress associated with multiple interviews, and to help victims feel as comfortable as possible. Usually, the number of interviews conducted with each victim is reduced to only one recorded session. The SNCAC has on staff trained forensic interviewers who specialize in conducting a structured conversation with a child that is designed to elicit accurate accounts of events. The goals of the interview are to collect information that will either corroborate or refute allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse. To accomplish these goals, the interviewers must be impartial and objective, considering all reasonable explanations of the allegations. Forensic interviews maximize the opportunity for the child to describe their experience, and minimize the potential for misinformation. The information collected through these interviews is provided to both Law Enforcement and the Department of Family Services, to be used in the process of their respective investigations.
Any child or adolescent who discloses any type of abuse needs a medical check up. Regardless of how long ago the assault occurred, it is important that child and adolescent victims receive a check up to ensure that they are healthy. A forensic medical exam is a complete physical conducted by a medical professional specially trained in all forms of child abuse. These specialized medical examinations are designed to gather information about the nature and extent of the abuse.
Family Advocate Services
Services are provided to victims of child abuse and their families including, but not limited to providing support, advocacy and community referrals, providing information and clarification regarding the roles of the various members of the multidisciplinary team and their corresponding systems, and assisting families with obtaining Victims of Crime funding for victim counseling. Family Therapist The SNCAC Family Therapist provides, without charge, onsite crisis mental health services, consultation, and psycho education for children and families served by the Center. The Family Therapist also provides support and consultation for SNCAC team members regarding child traumatic stress and other mental health issues and dynamics concerning sexually abused children and their families with a view toward working collaboratively to reduce further trauma. In addition, the Family Therapist works closely with the SNCAC Interim Administrator to strengthen, expand, and enhance quality evidenced-based, culturally competent mental health services within the SNCAC and in the community.
Child Sexual Abuse Review Team
Child abuse cases are reviewed and monitored by a team of professionals who meet regularly. This team is comprised of law enforcement, Department of Family Services Child Protective Services, the District Attorney's Office, mental health professionals, and medical doctors. Child Sexual Abuse team members work together to gather evidence, share information, investigate charges of sexual and/or severe physical abuse, and to prepare cases for prosecution. Team members collaborate on strategies that will aid investigators and prosecutors without causing further harm to the child. This innovative approach significantly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome in court and ensures that the child’s needs are met.