The Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Columbus Children’s Hospital provides children who are sexual abuse victims with a special program to prepare them to testify in court. The court prep program called All About Court is part of a unique comprehensive center caring for abuse victims from medical exam, to police investigation, prosecution and child and family counseling. All About Court provides these young victims with a specially designed coloring book and a chance to explore a court room.
One victim’s mother said the program helped her daughter face her abuser in court and finally sleep through the night.
With more than 1,300 sexual abuse cases in Franklin County, Ohio, in 2004, the program was developed in conjunction with the Franklin County Prosecutor as a way for court-appointed child advocates to prepare children for what to expect during a criminal trial.
The Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Columbus Children’s Hospital brings together a broad base of intervention and prevention programs and services directed toward treating abused children and innocent family members who are victims of family violence. The Center is a national model, being the first advocacy center to fully integrate child abuse and domestic violence services.
This unique facility houses a “one-stop” approach to child abuse intervention that brings the investigation, medical assessment and treatment of child abuse under one roof to protect children and to prevent further abuse. This one facility houses staff from the Franklin County Prosecutor, Franklin County Children Services, Franklin County Sheriff, Columbus Division of Police and Columbus Children’s Hospital.
Services at the Center are provided by a multi-disciplinary team and include a single recorded interview of victims, medical treatment and counseling services, victim advocacy and court preparation, along with shared case management and follow-up.