What is a Children’s Advocacy Center?
Children’s Advocacy Centers provide a child-friendly, safe and neutral location for forensic interviews to take place. Law enforcement and Child Protective Services investigators are part of an investigating team for children who are alleged victims of abuse. It is also a place where the child and non-offending family members receive support, crisis intervention and referrals for mental health and medical treatment.
The main objective is to reduce trauma to child victims by bringing all disciplines together and sharing information more efficiently to minimize duplication and trauma to the child. These multidisciplinary teams are made up of law enforcement officers, Child Protective Service workers, prosecutors, advocates, therapists, and medical personnel. The team meets regularly to communicate and review the cases beginning with the victim’s initial outcry through the investigation, treatment and prosecution.
How do we receive referrals?
Children come to the Children’s Advocacy Center after being referred from law enforcement or Child Protective Services. Once children are interviewed, advocacy services begin and connect the family to other community referrals such as counseling services or medical exams.
How can I help?
Report: Report any concerns of child abuse/neglect to law enforcement or Child Protective Services (704-862-7555).
Educate: Bring awareness by spreading the word to the community or participate in various fundraisers/events throughout the year. Please contact Heather Kauffman at 704-862-6761 if you are interested in having The Lighthouse speak at any community meeting or event.
Donate: Donate time or supplies. Contact Heather Kauffman at 704-862-6761 regarding any specific supply needs or view “The Lighthouse” Target Charity Registry for a list of items we currently need.
Heather Kauffman: 704-862-6761
Address: 609 N. Highland Street, Gastonia NC 28052
*Please note that The Lighthouse is located in the lower level of the Highland Health Center. Please park in the back parking lot and enter the back of the building.