Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona
A Healing Place
Since 1998, the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona (CCCA) has been instilling a sense of serenity in abused and neglected children by providing treatment, intervention and investigation services. Cheerful colors, teddy bears, toys and child-friendly paintings line the walls of the fully accredited advocacy center enhancing each child’s sense of safety and well-being.
The goal of CCCA is to provide medical treatment, mental health therapy, efficient investigational resources, and victim support services to address the immediate safety and complete well-being of children who are referred to the center.
With recent research exposing almost 4,000 substantiated cases of child abuse in Arizona, CCCA is a critical community asset. As proof of its value, multiple community organizations join the center creating a premiere “one-stop” approach to child advocacy.
When Abuse Happens…
A specially trained victim advocate serves as each child’s personal friend and playmate at their most vulnerable time while keeping them fully informed about the process ahead. A forensic interviewer interacts with each child asking age appropriate, non-leading questions allowing abused children to share their story; the information gathered from the forensic interview is capable of withstanding court scrutiny and aiding in the prosecution of abusers. Before children’s advocacy centers, child victims were forced to relive their abuse, telling their story to one official after another. As part of this process, children also receive a specialized medical exam to gather evidence of physical and/or sexual assault.
CCCA’s services and resources also support and actively participate in the safe placement of abused children and court preparation assistance for the child and their family. As a licensed outpatient clinic, abused children and their non-offending family members receive individual and family counseling/therapy at the CCCA.
A Community of Caring
CCCA was established and maintains its priceless presence in the “Valley of the Sun” to respond to the overwhelming needs of abused children with five critical community partners: Phoenix Police Department, Child Protective Services, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. With a caring focus, the partnership is a high profile, high volume and highly successful example of professional integration and coordination of treatment, intervention, and investigation services.
- Each child, including siblings, receiving services at the Childhelp Children’s Center for the first time receives a new toy or other gift.
- Community Training – providing specific training for local children’s charities, ASU School of Social Work; training provided for mandated reporters regarding their legal responsibilities to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.
- CCCA staff recently assisted with the revision of Maricopa County’s Joint Investigation Protocol.
- The Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona is a “one-stop” advocacy center that provides forensic investigations and forensic medical examinations, mental health treatment and disposition of abused and neglected children.
- Childhelp received a five year reaccreditation from the National Children's Alliance in 2008, meeting all standards for child advocacy centers nationally.
- All aspects of the facility reflect an attention-to-detail, creating a child-friendly environment and atmosphere. A large glass walled playroom, fully equipped with toys and computer games, is available for children and their siblings to use. Trained volunteers supervise the children in the playroom.
- The center was showcased in the U.S. Department of Justice’s 1999 video of “best practice” facilities serving victims of crime. As a “best practice” agency, it continues to serve as a model for advocacy centers nationwide.