What We Offer
If your child made an outcry of abuse, wouldn't you want the investigation, prosecution, and intervention services to be handled in a manner sensitive to the needs of the child?
Prior to the establishment of ChildSafe, a child's outcry of abuse didn't necessarily mean the hurt was over. For many young victims, it often meant the beginning of a stressful, scary, and difficult journey through the adult-minded criminal and civil justice systems.
Due to the complex nature of these cases, our systems require the involvement of many different professionals to investigate, prosecute, and intervene. Historically, information was not shared, efforts were rarely coordinated, and obtaining successful outcomes for these child victims was virtually impossible.
ChildSafe is a children's advocacy center, Bexar County's only agency providing specialized services to children who have been sexually abused and to their supportive family members. ChildSafe provides a safe, child friendly environment where law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, and medical and mental health professionals can share information and coordinate strategies sensitive to the needs of each unique case and child.
ChildSafe provides offices on our campus for all of these professionals and our staff and administration. At ChildSafe, our staff provides an array of child-focused services for children from 0 to 18 years of age that include the following:
Assessment Services provide a starting point for the ChildSafe staff to manage the services the abused child and supportive family members will need. A psychosocial assessment and needs assessments are conducted periodically for every child and family. Crisis evaluations are done as needed. Scheduled assessments throughout the process ensure benchmarks of healing are met as well as indicators of need for additional services.
Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) works together to review cases and compare needs to ensure that law enforcement, Child Protective Services, prosecution, and an array of social service providers are making the most effective response and plan of action for the family. The MDT members help coordinate efforts that reduce trauma to the abused child, their supportive family members, and other caregivers.
Family Support Specialists are trained professionals who provide case management for ChildSafe clients by working with the child and supportive caregivers/family from the moment they walk in the door for the Forensic Interview. The investigative process can be a source of confusion and fear for families and children traumatized by child abuse. FSS will work with caregivers and provide assistance in understanding the legal and civil process from the time of the forensic interview through the resolution of the case, or until support is no longer required by the family. Services are offered from a trauma informed perspective and include child and family assessments, resource coordination, home visitation, court school, and court accompaniment. The goal of the FSS is addressing the needs of the caregiver so that they may better support their child. FSS are a neutral part of the investigation and are employees of ChildSafe. They are a key component of the Child Advocacy Center and meeting the needs of every ChildSafe family.
Our Counselors and Therapists are licensed professionals who have specialized training in trauma-focused, evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy. These compassionate and skilled therapists provide individual therapy, family therapy, play therapy, art therapy, and adventure therapy for child victims and their supportive family members.
Child Abuse Resource Enhancement (CARE)
CARE stands for Child Abuse Resource Enhancement and is a service of ChildSafe which links families with community-based programs designed to strengthen family relationships and support the healthy, emotional, and physical development of children. CARE aims to help children and families build healthy assets which have shown effective in enhancing relationships and contributing to a person’s ability to thrive. Some examples of the assets we endorse are peaceful conflict resolution, personal power, safety, and family support. One of the most important goals of CARE is to connect families with agencies and community organizations that strive for excellence in providing services to children and families. Our CARE partner agencies understand the value in providing activities that build healthy assets in families and do so in engaging ways. Children and families, for instance, have participated in horseback riding, music lessons, and sports through CARE.
Download the CARE brochure here.
Family Enrichment Adventure Therapy (FEAT Program) The Family Enrichment Adventure Therapy (FEAT) program is a progressive counseling service offered through ChildSafe. Adventure Therapy at ChildSafe is about engaging people in experiences that build key qualities and relationships. Through this program, families are able to camp, kayak, rock climb, and participate in other adventure-based activities designed to promote empowerment, open lines of communication, and build trust in families.
FEAT activities are facilitated by licensed mental health counselors or counselors in training under the supervision of a licensed mental health practitioner. The program uses a strength-based approach in keeping with ChildSafe’s mission to restore dignity, trust, and hope to children traumatized by abuse and neglect. ChildSafe recognizes trauma also affects many people in a child’s life and therefore works to build healthy assets in families through the FEAT program. These assets include successfully adapting to challenges, fostering nurturing relationships, and creating openness about tough topics.
Download more information about FEAT here.
What else do we do at ChildSafe?
We believe that sharing information and networking is critical to innovation in the care of abused children and their families.
We believe in the power of a collective voice to successfully effect change that will impact the lives of the children scarred by violence and abuse.
We believe that the eradication of child abuse from our society begins with building informed, empowered communities that stand ready to embrace this issue with courage. We accomplish this by providing education to both adults and children in various community settings.
At the heart of our mission is a commitment to support the work of our direct care staff so they can continue to help young victims rebuild their lives. ChildSafe is a nonprofit organization that must raise private and state funds to provide our services to Bexar and surrounding counties.