WHAT HAPPENS AT RAY OF HOPE?
Your child has been referred to Ray of Hope to talk to one of our trained, caring interviewers. Before talking with your child, our interviewer will meet with the law enforcement investigator and/or child protection worker. Ray of Hope staff also will talk with you. We will ask you if there is anything we should know about your child’s feelings, language skills or special needs. The interviewer then will talk to your child. The interview, which takes 20-60 minutes, will be video taped. During your child’s interview, you will meet with a Ray of Hope Family advocate. The advocate wants to find out how you are feeling and will talk with you about mental health resources that can help you and your child. The advocate also will provide you with information to help in your child’s healing.
Our Services Include
Multidisciplinary approach to child abuse intervention
Ray of Hope Advocacy Center brings representatives from many disciplines together, conducting joint forensic interviews and making team decisions about the investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases. Participants include child protection, prosecution, law enforcement, medical and mental health
Child-friendly forensic interviews
Children are interviewed by a specially trained forensic interviewer in our safe and child friendly center. Interviews are video-recorded often alleviating the need for further interviews, questioning and in some cases court testimony. By removing the need for multiple interviews in multiple locations (hospital, police station, attorney’s office, etc.), we can reduce the child’s overall trauma and move forward with healing.
Medical and mental health intervention
Ray of Hope Advocacy Center can provide on-site medical assessments by a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner following concerns of abuse. Our caring nurse collects photographic and DNA evidence while ensuring the child’s body is healthy and healing properly. Our team can refer you to a trained mental health professional that specializes in working with child abuse victims.
Referrals to local resources and service providers
The Ray of Hope Family Advocate works with children and their families to find community resources that will meet their family’s specific needs. So many organizations in our area help support families – we proudly partner with these resources rather than duplicate services.
Victim advocacy and support
The Ray of Hope Family Advocate meets with the family at the time of the forensic interview or medical assessment. Our Family Advocate provides ongoing assistance to the family throughout the investigation and prosecution of any criminal case, answering any questions or concerns along the way.
Court preparation assistance
If your child is asked to testify in court, we have specific resources for your family to help prepare you and your child for court. We work in conjunction with the Washington County District Court Victim Witness Coordinator to make your child as comfortable as possible throughout the court process.
Child abuse prevention services
The Ray of Hope Advocacy Center offers free Child Abuse Prevention resources to anyone in the community. Please contact us if you would like to receive information on child abuse prevention.
Professional and community training
Ray of Hope offers multiple, no-cost training programs. Education about child abuse empowers all of us to be more aware and take responsibility to protect the children in our lives. Ray of Hope is available to come into existing child-serving organizations, conduct professional assessments and help review or develop policies that protect the children you serve and your team members.
If you are interested in having someone from Ray of Hope speak to your church, community group or school, please let us know. Check our training page for upcoming community training opportunities open to the public.