Family Advocacy

  • The focus of family advocacy and victim support is to help reduce trauma for the child and non-offending caregivers/family members and to improve outcomes.
  • Children and families are referred to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Van Zandt County in crisis, and it is our desire that they leave with hope and that stability and safety are within their grasp. 
  • The Family Advocate works with the non-offending caregivers to assess physical and emotional needs encountered due to the abuse or trauma. 
  • The CACVZC Family Advocate has an extensive list of resources and contacts to refer families for very basic to complex needs. 
  • The Family Advocate is certified to assist victims and their families apply for Crime Victim’s Compensation.

Advocacy Services

Rationale

  • Children and non-offending caregivers/family members in crisis need assistance in navigating through the multi-systems response.
  • CACVZC links with local community advocates (e.g. domestic violence advocates, rape crisis counselors, Court Appointed Special Advocates, etc.) and/or system-based advocates (e.g. victim witness coordinators, law enforcement victim’s advocates, etc.) to provide services to victims in crisis.

Information

  • Providing education about the coordinated, multidisciplinary response
  • Providing updates to the non-offending caregiver/family members on case status, continuances, dispositions, sentencing, and offender release from custody
  • Providing updates to the MDT on caregiver/family status

Emotional support

  • Greeting and orientation of children to  CACVZC
  • Assessing the child’s and non-offending caregiver’s/family’s attitudes and feelings about participation in the investigation/prosecution

Family Services

  • Assisting in procuring concrete services (e.g., housing, protective orders, domestic violence intervention, food, crime victims compensation, transportation, public
  • assistance etc.)
  • Providing referrals for mental health and medical treatment, if not provided at CACVZC
  • Providing and/or coordinating with the community for special projects (i.e. toy drives, back to school supplies, food drives, coat drives, etc.)

Crisis

  • Providing crisis intervention and support at all stages of investigation and prosecution
  • Attending and/or coordinating interviews and/or case review

Court

  • Providing and/or assisting with court education/support/accompaniment
  • Providing and/or assisting with tours of the courthouse/courtroom
  • Securing transportation to interviews, court, treatment and other case-related meetings