CAN – Who, What, Why?
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Who are the children CAN serves?
The Child Abuse Network serves children who are involved in reported cases of abuse. The children are brought to CAN by child welfare and law enforcement agencies that are investigating the alleged abuse.
How is CAN different from other child abuse agencies?
While other community agencies concentrate on the prevention of child abuse, the rehabilitation of perpetrators or the therapeutic treatment of children and families, the Child Abuse Network deals with child abuse intervention – the investigation of alleged abuse. Here, all the experts work together to determine whether abuse has occurred.
Why is CAN needed?
During a child abuse investigation, experts from several agencies must talk with the child. Before the Child Abuse Network existed, children were taken back and forth among child welfare offices, police departments and medical clinics. At each visit, the child was asked to retell his/her story. The process not only duplicated investigative efforts, it also made children relive their experience over and over.
The Child Abuse Network centralizes all the experts who must talk to the child. Children now need to come to only one place to talk to those investigating their abuse. The investigation is streamlined, information is shared, and decisions are based on more expert information. As a result, children are able to begin their healing process faster.
What About Confidentiality and Information Sharing?
The unique centralization of the multidisciplinary agencies allows the team to share information, coordinate their services and streamline the investigative process.
However, as every case seen at the Children’s Advocacy Center (formerly Justice Center) is an open child abuse investigation, confidentiality is a primary concern. Each agency signs an interagency agreement that permits the agency to share information with other team members.
Case information is not released to anyone other than team agencies unless by court order. CAN’s administrative staff does not acknowledge inquiries about scheduled appointments or whether a child has been seen or not. CAN refers all such requests to the case investigators.
How Much Do Services Cost?
Caregivers are not directly responsible for payment of services provided at the Center. If health insurance is available, insurance will be billed. Several other resources are available to help cover the cost of services. CAN staff are available to answer questions. However, families are not responsible for deductions or unpaid balances. As a non-profit agency, the Child Abuse Network hosts fundraising events to help support the services at the Children’s Advocacy Center.
If I donate, will my name and address be sold to others?
No! As part of our Code of Ethics, the Child Abuse Network honors the confidentiality of information and the privacy of our donors and beneficiaries.