A child abuse investigation can set off a chain of events that may be challenging for families to navigate. Each step is essential to ensure the safety and healing for the child but unfortunately can sometimes feel overwhelming. Ray of Hope’s first priority is to ensure this process is as easy possible for the child, eliminating any further trauma following the abuse disclosure. At its core, this is the primary function of our Victim Advocate – Lori Rose.
Non-offending caregivers often describe Lori as “an angel” and sing high praises of her ability to listen without judgment and offer real help moving forward. Lori warmly welcomes children and families into Ray of Hope and is available for any questions that arise throughout the process.
Lori Rose, Victim Advocate
What is a Victim Advocate?
The Victim Advocate welcomes children and families to Ray of Hope and meets with protecting caregivers while children are receiving services. Parents are often anxious and overwhelmed during a child abuse investigation and the Victim Advocate can help answer questions and provide much-needed support.
The Victim Advocate is the person at Ray of Hope who assists families in accessing support and resources. It may look different, depending on the unique needs of the family, but in each case, the Victim Advocate helps the family to identify what they need and how to find it in our community. This can range from food assistance to mental health treatment to court support.
What specialized training is required for a Victim Advocate?
Just like conducting forensic interviews or forensic medical exams, providing victim advocacy requires a specialized skill set. The ability to work with victims and non-offending caregivers from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of needs is essential. Victim advocates are trained to provide support, education and referrals. If a family needs help navigating the court system, finding community resources or accessing crime victim compensation, the Victim Advocate is the person they often call first.
What is the most difficult thing about your job?
The most difficult part of my job is becoming attached to the families I work with. They walk in as strangers, but often, I spend months or even years helping them move from the allegations of abuse, through the court system and then on to healing.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
The most rewarding thing about my job is when the kids and families leave Ray of Hope smiling and laughing. It lets us know that we helped that family find their smile. We all worked as a team, and the family knows that each one of us is here for them!