What We Are
History of the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center
Due to the need for individuals to work together to help abused children, the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center began with the formation of the Board of Directors in 1998. The inter-agency commitment to the cooperative approach allowed the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center to open its doors for service in December 1999.
A Safe Place for Children
The Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center is a child friendly, child focused non-profit organization that is comfortable, private, and both physically and psychologically safe for diverse populations of children and their non-offending caregivers.
Who We Serve
Children seventeen years of age and under may receive services at the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center regarding suspected sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect. Children who are possibly exposed to crime or are potential witnesses may also receive services.
Adults (18 and older) who are currently enrolled in high school, or with an intellectual disability or developmental delay that may make it difficult for the adult to give a statement to the investigator, may also receive services on a case by case basis.
A forensic interview is a developmentally sensitive and legally sound method of gathering factual information regarding allegations of abuse and/or exposure to violence. A forensic interview is conducted utilizing research and practice-informed techniques, such as the semi-structured narrative process, as part of the larger investigative process.
The Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center provides a non-threatening atmosphere for the investigation of child abuse and child crime. Each forensic interview is conducted with an emphasis on the child's comfort, minimal number of interviews, and proper evidence collection.
Each child's case is managed by a highly trained multi-agency team composed of: Assistant District Attorney, Consulting Physicians, Child Protective Services Workers, Police Investigators, and Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center Staff.
The Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center will provide Family Advocacy services which will include support at all stages of the investigation and recovery process, crisis intervention, completion of all appropriate documentation, and assistance in procuring services for immediate needs. The Family Advocate will also assist in educating the family about the dynamics of child abuse and the effects trauma may have on the family.
Therapeutic services are a clinical process designed to assess and address possible effects of trauma, working toward specific treatment goals and are not necessarily forensically sound in terms of neutral fact gathering. Therapy seeks to gather information for the purpose of obtaining a thorough biopsychosocial and trauma history which inform treatment decisions. Specialized trauma-focused therapeutic services are provided on site for child victims and for their non-offending family members.
Therapeutic services provided by Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center include, but are not limited to:
- Crisis intervention services
- Trauma-specific assessment, including a full trauma history
- Use of standardized measures (assessment tools) initially and periodically thereafter to measure treatment progress
- Family/caregiver engagement
- An individualized treatment plan that is periodically re-assessed
- An individualized evidence-informed treatment appropriate for the child(ren) and family
- Referral to other community services as needed
- Periodic clinical supervision or consultation with a licensed mental health professional
- Referral to a secondary level of care of psychiatrist as needed
Training and Education
The Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center provides multidisciplinary training to professionals whose job related duties affect the physical and emotional protection and treatment of children.