Braveheart helps team members from law enforcement; DCFS, State’s Attorney’s Offices and our treatment partners access specialized training about child abuse. Training allows multidisciplinary team members to develop and maintain specialized skills needed to better serve child abuse victims and their families
Braveheart staff and Board Members are available to provide presentations on topics related to child abuse and the Children’s Advocacy Center concept. These efforts increase community awareness on the prevalence of child abuse as well as how to identify and report abuse. Increased awareness and reporting leads to more timely and successful intervention. Braveheart also has two trained Facilitators of the Stewards of Children prevention/awareness program. Contact us to learn more about this training
SERVICES WE PROVIDE
Child Friendly Facilities / Coordinated Investigations
Braveheart provides three child-friendly locations that are less threatening than other potential interview locations, such as a police department where kids often worry about someone going to jail, child’s home where the abuse may have happened, a principal’s office where kids may think they are in trouble, etc. The child-friendly facilities operated by Braveheart ensure child abuse victims have a safe place, free from threat of their offender, to tell their story of abuse.
The type of interviews conducted at Braveheart is called forensic. This means they are neutral and fact finding. Braveheart has a trained forensic interviewer on site. Many DCFS investigators and local law enforcement officers are also trained in forensic interviewing and conduct this service at our offices. The forensic interview room is very child friendly. Coordinated team efforts reduce the number of interviews child victims must endure, thereby reducing trauma to the child.
Access to Mental Health and Medical Specialty Services
The Henry County office provides specialized mental health on site at no cost to clients or families. Braveheart also provides referrals for mental health/therapy providers throughout the five county areas. The Advocate or mental health specialist can help families’ complete applications for Crime Victim’s Compensation, a fund for crime victims that can help to reimburse families for therapy and other expenses that resulted from the crime.
Medical exams are not conducted at Braveheart. Specialized medical exams are available in Galesburg and Peoria, Illinois through the Pediatric Resource Center. Support from community donors helps ensure transportation and gas cards are available to families to help them access therapeutic and medical specialists.
Case Management / Advocacy
The Braveheart Advocate maintains contact with the family throughout the life of their case, which at times may last up to two years, or as long as the family requests. Braveheart works cooperatively with agency service providers to make referrals based on the needs of the child and their family. Braveheart tracks referrals and assists families in connecting with service providers to initiate additional support. This assures children and families are receiving appropriate/specialized services in a timely manner, and that the family is aware of available resources. Braveheart assists the child victim and their family to navigate the criminal justice system by apprising them of the status of their case on a continual basis, advocating for their concerns/needs with multidisciplinary team members/service providers, provides education on the investigative and court process, assists with resource attainment, and provides emotional support. Braveheart's Advocate serves the full five county areas. Victim Witness Coordinators are a strong team partner in supporting families where criminal charges have been filed.