Kosair Charities Child Advocacy Center

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The Kosair Charities Child Advocacy Center (KCCAC) provides Metro Louisville with compassionate, coordinated intervention and investigation of child sexual abuse. The KCCAC establishes a safe, child friendly environment providing best practices for children and non-offending family members impacted by child sexual abuse as well as forensic interviews in cases involving child physical abuse and related crimes.

DSC_5834Referrals for the KCCAC  are received from Child Protective Services, federal law enforcement and law enforcement in Jefferson, Bullitt, Trimble, Henry, Spencer, Oldham and Shelby counties.   KCCAC also serves Region 18 in Southern Indiana by providing the same services in Floyd County at Family & Children’s Place’s New Albany Office.

Co-located within the KCCAC are the Crimes Against Children Unit of Louisville Metro Police, Child Protective Services, an Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney as well as physicians from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The center also has Family Advocates and Counselors to provide crisis intervention and counseling at no cost to children and their non-offending family members.

These professionals collaborate to reduce trauma, seek justice and provide hope and healing for children and their non-offending caregivers. Multi-disciplinary teams meet regularly, including law enforcement, attorneys, KCCAC staff, physicians, Child Protective Services and others to review cases for best practices and quality of care.

Services include:

  • Forensic interviews
  • Medical evaluations
  • Mental health services
  • Family advocacy for safety and resource planning

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In a forensic interview, a child talks with a trained professional about what the child has experienced.  The goal of a forensic interview in the Kosair Children’s Child Advocacy Center is to secure a statement from a child, in a developmentally and culturally sensitive, unbiased and fact-finding manner that will support accurate and fair decision making by the multidisciplinary team in Kentucky’s criminal justice and child protection systems.

The Kosair Charities Child Advocacy Center has forensic Interviewers on staff for interviews of child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and for children who witness violent crimes.  Similar services are provided in the Floyd County, Ind., Family & Children’s Place office as well.

Forensic interviews are conducted in a way that is legally sound, of a neutral, fact-finding nature and coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing.  Forensic interviews are child-centered.

This interview is the beginning phase into investigation and/or the criminal justice system, along with Family & Children’s Place-related services the child and non-offending family member may need to heal.

Forensic interviews at the KCCAC are recorded on digital video and provided to prosecutors.

DSC_5844The medical evaluation at the KCCAC helps:

  • Ensure the health, safety and well-being of a child;
  • Diagnose, document and address any medical conditions resulting from abuse;
  • Differentiate medical findings indicative of abuse from those caused by other medical conditions or by accident;
  • Assess a child for any developmental, emotional or behavioral problems needing further evaluations and treatment and make referrals as necessary;
  • Reassure and educate the child and non-offending caregiver(s).

University of Louisville pediatric specialists conduct the medical evaluations. Cases that require specialized investigations or treatment are referred to hospital emergency rooms.

KCCAC provides trauma-informed and evidence-based counseling for child victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and severe neglect. Trauma-informed means the therapist understands the impact of traumatic experiences on children and focuses therapy on helping the child to understand, cope with and grow beyond their traumatic experiences. Evidence-based means therapists utilize therapy strategies shown in research studies to be most effective in healing abused and traumatized children.

Outcomes: Last year, KCCAC professionals stopped the trauma of sexual and physical abuse and provided compassionate and comprehensive care for more than 1,300 Louisville-area children.

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