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Safe Child Center

The Safe Child Center (SCC), a child advocacy center founded in 1994, is a division of FMC's Children's Health Center. SCC serves children from birth through 18 years old and extends some services to adults with developmental disabilities. Children from throughout Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties, including the American Indian Nations, are seen at the SCC.

SCC staff is dedicated to reducing the stress that children experience as victims of crime; and to supporting the efforts of law enforcement and child protection agencies to ensure that child victims are treated with respect and dignity throughout the investigation process.

Our mission is:

  • To assist child victims of abuse or neglect through intervention in a child-sensitive environment which facilitates comfort and communication
  • To significantly reduce the secondary victimization experienced by many children and their families after a suspected crime has occurred
  • To ensure a thorough investigation of suspected crimes against children through a multidisciplinary team process

The Safe Child Center will:

  • Serve traumatized and abused children’s medical and behavioral health needs
  • Work in partnership with other investigative agencies to achieve a coordinated, comprehensive evaluation and investigation 
  • Avoid multiple interviews in an effort to reduce the child’s stress and improve the quality and admissibility of evidence
  • Respond with developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive approaches
  • Help ensure the process of investigation, prosecution and treatment will facilitate a time of healing for the child
  • Reassure children about their health and acknowledge their hard work and bravery
  • Encourage family members to share concerns and ask questions about their situation and their child’s well-being
  • Support the family through the investigative process
  • Be a safe, caring, friendly place for children and families when they are hurt

Interviews

Children seen at SCC may participate in an interview with a specially trained forensic interviewer to gather information about their experiences. The interview is conducted in a child-friendly environment which is non-leading and carefully done with respect to the individual child’s developmental abilities and needs. Interviews are videotaped and investigators usually are present to observe and collaborate with SCC staff.

Medical Evaluations

Children also may receive medical evaluations by experienced, specially trained pediatric nurse practitioners who are child-focused, gentle and sensitive. Medical evaluations are conducted to assess the overall well-being of the child with an emphasis on signs and symptoms of abuse including injury, infection and recoverable evidence. Colposcopy is utilized for examination and documentation.

Referrals

SCC accepts referrals for suspected child abuse and for child witnesses to crime or violence from regional law enforcement, child protection, area prosecutors and the judicial system.

Affliations

Safe Child Center, as the child advocacy center in Coconino County, is a part of the Coconino County InterAgency Council on Child Abuse and collaborates with law enforcement, the County Attorney’s office, Child Protective Services, the US Attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the County Health Department, various education, health and social service providers, and the Arizona Governor’s Children’s Justice Task Force.

SCC is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance, a nationwide network of child advocacy centers, and a member of the Arizona Child and Family Advocacy Network.

In a partnership with ChildHelpUSA, SCC provides services to children in rural Arizona with a Mobile Children’s Advocacy Center.

If you suspect child abuse, or a child discloses abuse, ask only these questions:

  • What happened?
  • Who did it?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?

Ask no further questions, offer support and safety, and REPORT!

Call either local law enforcement or the Child Abuse Hotline 1-888-SOS-CHILD...(1 888 767-2445)

 



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