Located in downtown Waukesha in the Big Yellow House, The C.A.R.E. Center (Child Advocacy Resources and Empowerment) provides services to children and adolescents who are suspected victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or neglect.
The C.A.R.E. Center is a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center, and the only program in Waukesha County which provides these services. It provides a complete assessment of suspected victims of child abuse while maintaining family dignity. Families can expect to spend about two hours at The C.A.R.E. Center. Children's advocacy centers emphasize the coordination of investigation and intervention services by bringing together professionals and agencies as a multidisciplinary team to create a child-focused approach to child abuse cases.
The C.A.R.E. Center is a safe, comfortable, secure facility where children can discuss abuse in a non-threatening, compassionate environment.
The C.A.R.E. Center is a place where law enforcement and social workers meet with children and their families. Appointments are scheduled through a County Social Worker or a law enforcement official only.
The assessment includes:
v A one-on-one interview between the child and a professional who has received special training on how to interview suspected child abuse victims. The interview is recorded with the intention of minimizing the number of times the child is interviewed. The recording will be used in the child abuse investigation.
v While the child is being interviewed, non-offending caregivers meet with a family advocate, a person who provides help and support during and after the visit. The family advocate helps families find counselors, doctors and other professionals to make the recovery process easier. Caregivers may not watch the interview.
v A medical professional who specializes in working with children who are suspected victims of abuse provides on-site forensic medical evaluations.
v After the interview, members of the investigative team meet with the caregivers to answer questions, talk about concerns and explain what will happen next.
v Information gathered from a child’s forensic interview is provided to law enforcement.
Community partners who collaborate with The C.A.R.E. Center include:
The Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, The Women's Center, Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services, Pro Health Care, Waukesha County law enforcement departments, and Family Service of Waukesha.