Who We Are
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation designed to combat child abuse. This is done through the coordinated efforts of agencies charged with the responsibility to investigate, treat, and prosecute child abuse cases.
Who we Serve
Citizens of Rusk/Panola counties who are:
Victims of child sexual abuse, serious physical abuse, neglect, drug endangerment, or who witness violent crimes in Rusk and Panola counties, and their non-offending family members.
Community professionals in related fields.
Community members needing information and referral.
What is a Forensic Interview?
A forensic interview of a child is a developmentally-sensitive and legally-sound method of gathering factual information regarding allegations of abuse and /or exposure to violence. This interview is conducted by a competently-trained, neutral professional utilizing research and practice-informed techniques as part of a larger investigative process.
What is MDT?
At the Rusk-Panola Children’s Advocacy Center, we take pride in our Multidisciplinary team. Our team works to provide a child friendly setting where we are dedicated to work collaboratively in the intervention, investigation, prosecution and treatment options of child abuse cases. Here our trained professionals work closely with Law Enforcement, Child Protection Services, and medical professionals to lessen the trauma and prevent re-victimization.
Our Contribution to the Case
Here at the CAC, we offer forensic interviewing for children suffering from abuse as well as any siblings that are at risk of similar abuse. A forensic interview is a structured conversation with a child meant to elicit details about a possible event that the child may have experienced or witnessed. These interviews are meant to aid law enforcement and CPS investigations as well as prevent the child from having to divulge explicit or painful details repeatedly. To do this, each interview is video recorded to a disc and provided to law enforcement and CPS caseworkers.
Forensic interviews serve to either corroborate or refute suspicions of abuse or neglect, ensure the safety and well being of the child, obtain information that may be helpful to an investigation, and to assess the need for medical treatment and psychological care.
Beyond the Interview
We recognize that times like these can be very emotionally and physically taxing on a family. For these times, we provide a Family Advocate for each and every family that comes to our center. Family Advocates provide services and resources to families for any needs that develop as a result of a child suffering from abuse. They also provide support in a case management style and maintain bonds with clients and their families throughout the duration of their time at our center as well as all the way through the court process.
We also provide on-site and on-campus counseling for our clients and their families within the home. We have three counselors that have studied in Licensed Professional Counseling and utilize a method of counseling called Trauma Focused - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. TF-CBT is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events. Children and parents learn new skills to help process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related traumatic life events; and enhance safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication.Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral therapy is the most well-supported and effective treatment for children who have been abused and traumatized.