Childhelp Mobile Advocacy Center of Northern Arizona
Established in 2003 in partnership with the Safe Child Center at the Flagstaff Medical Center, the Childhelp Mobile Advocacy Center of Northern Arizona combines specialized services and state-of-the-art telemedicine technology to provide crisis intervention, forensic interviews and referrals for the area’s abused and neglected children and their families. The 38-foot specially outfitted motor home makes it possible for members of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to take “help” on the road attending to maltreatment victims. It is a truly unique facility with the ability to see a diverse population of children in remote areas at the earliest opportunity following disclosures of abuse.
In Times of Need
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of using an advocacy center is the expedited and less traumatizing means of investigation. Uniquely equipped in three divided, child friendly, sound proofed, air – conditioned rooms, professionals aboard the mobile unit provide crisis intervention, investigational resources, and victim support services to address the immediate safety and well-being of children who are referred to the center.
With the ability to access victims, professionals aboard the unit are able to refer children in need for mental health services and deliver timely crisis intervention. Research confirms with this type of intervention, victims of abuse are better able to handle crisis and have fewer negative long-term effects.
The Mobile Advocacy Center also serves as an information resource, distributing victim’s compensation information and educational literature to families and professionals. In times of need, the mobile center races to provide services that benefit and support the Grand Canyon State’s most precious residents…its children.
Collaboration is Key
The Mobile Advocacy Center partners with the Safe Child Center at the Flagstaff Medical Center to provide investigative resources and victim support services to tribal communities throughout Northern Arizona. The FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs provide the majority of these referrals. Additionally, Gila County program staff collaborates with Gila County law enforcement, Child Protective Services, Office of Child Welfare Investigation, Gila County Attorney’s Office and other social services providers to ensure that child victims and their non-offending family members receive the services they need.
Community Outreach, Awareness Education and Training
The Program at a Glance
- The mobile advocacy center partners with local law enforcement agencies throughout Northern Arizona and Gila County.
- The mobile advocacy center collaborates and shares resources with Coconino County Interagency Council and the Safe Child Center at Flagstaff Medical Center.
- The Gila County program staff facilitates monthly MDT meetings in Payson and Globe.
- Areas served by the mobile advocacy center include Apache, Coconino, Navajo, and Gila counties.
- The mobile advocacy center is decorated to reflect Childhelp’s ongoing philosophy that puts the child first by helping the child feel at ease in their surroundings.
Program Statistics, 2013
- 85 Children Served (Under Age 18)
- 12,000 Approx. Miles Travelled
- Maureen Basenberg, MPA, Director, Arizona Child Advocacy Programs
- Additional Staff
- 1 Forensic Interviewer
- 2 Victim Advocates