What Can You Expect at Children's Justice Center?
Most visits to the Children's Justice Center (CJC) last a few hours or less. In that short amount of time you will receive warm and caring support for you and your child. CJC staff are knowledgeable about the child abuse investigative process and can help answer your questions. A police detective or caseworker will contact you to set an appointment at the Children's Justice Center. They will assess the urgency of the situation to make sure your child is safe and protected.
Parents bring their child to center about 15 minutes prior to their appointment to play and relax which helps the child feel safe and at ease. The parents begin with a short private meeting with a detective and caseworker who are specialized in responding to reports of child abuse to obtain basic information. The detective will invite your child into a delightfully decorated interview room to talk about what happened. Children do remarkably well explaining on their own without extra adults in the room. This helps keep the interview process remain neutral. Most interviews last about 30 minutes but some children will need longer if they have more to talk about.
When the child's interview is done, the detective and caseworker meet with parents to give details about what happened, answer questions, and explain the next steps of the investigative process. The CJC case coordinators will meet with parents to provide crisis support, referrals to counseling or other services, assistance with restitution applications and assess any other needs for the child or family to make it a smoother process for you. Parents often tell us that their fear and anxiety were replaced with relief, a sense of hope and gratitude.