Kids’ Advocacy Place (KAP) uses a multi-agency approach to the investigation, intervention, and
coordination of services for children and families affected by emotional, physical and sexual abuse or neglect. Our facility includes a staff of highly skilled and specially trained individuals who work closely with Child Protective Services (CPS), law enforcement organizations, as well as other agencies involved in investigating and prosecuting these sensitive cases.
Why KAP? The criminal justice system was primarily designed for adult perpetrators, not child victims. The process often duplicated efforts and complicated information in an already complex legal system. Kids’ Advocacy Place helps overcome these problems by reducing child trauma, enhancing investigation, and resulting in improved lives for child victims and higher conviction rates for offenders.
KAP serves 5 counties including, Kerr, Bandera, Gillespie, Kendall, and Kimble. KAP primarily
serves children under the age of 18 who have been the victim of sexual abuse, severe physical
abuse, neglect or witness to a violent crime. Children are referred through the agencies that are mandated to receive reports of child abuse: Child Protective Services, local law enforcement, and prosecution (County/District Attorney).
Approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Child
abuse affects children and families across all socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial boundaries.
Additionally, 1 in 5 children is sexually solicited on the internet. Only 1 in 10 children will tell
someone about their abuse. 95% of children are abused by someone they know and trust. Kids’
Advocacy Place serves on average over 350 children per year.
When a concern arises that a child has endured abuse, a forensic interview is the best way to gather information pertaining to the allegation. A forensic interview is an objective, non-leading, legally defensible and age-appropriate, information-gathering process. Forensic interviews reduce trauma experienced by child victims by reducing the number of times they have to talk about what happened to them.
The interview is conducted by someone trained in latest forensic interviewing techniques, child development and linguistics, and will take place in one of our age-appropriate interview rooms. The interview will be recorded and observed by law enforcement and/or child protective services who are part of the KAP multidisciplinary team. This allows investigators who are assigned to help your family ask the forensic interviewer additional questions that can clarify information and reduce the times a child will have to be interviewed. As a result, all members of the multidisciplinary team obtain the information needed to proceed on behalf of the child.
Our interviewers and advocates attend multiple continuing education trainings each year to ensure that they remain current on the best practices and methods related to forensic investigations, child welfare, family support and child development.
A family advocate helps families with children who have been abused or are at risk of abuse. Families are greeted by a family advocate at KAP and given a tour of the interview room. During the advocacy process, the advocate explains the process of an interview, talks about counseling services, goes over the judicial process, helps explain Crime Victims Compensation and Texas Crime Victims Rights and helps with additional resources the family may need. The family advocate will help support the family through the life of the child's case.
A multidisciplinary team (MDT) is the foundation of a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). An MDT is a group of professionals from specific, distinct disciplines that collaborates from the point of report and throughout a child and family’s involvement with the CAC. MDTs coordinate intervention so as to reduce potential trauma to children and families and improve services overall, while preserving and respecting the rights, mandates and obligations of each agency. The Kid’s Advocacy Place MDT includes representatives from the following partner agencies in the 5 counties we serve.
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