•  

Family Advocate Program

The Family Advocate program serves children and non-offending caregivers who have come to the Child Advocacy Center due to an incident of physical or sexual abuse. The advocate focuses on needs of the family so that they may be more supportive to the child and learn to effectively deal with the trauma of abuse. The advocate works with families to provide support and to help ensure that they are connected with resources for mental health, legal assistance, financial management, and other areas of need identified by them. The advocate also works in concert with other community agencies to ensure that the child receives the best service available and that the family is empowered to move forward. 

The Family Advocate is usually the first one from Rainbow House to meet the family. The advocate calls the family before they even come to Rainbow House, to answer any questions that they may have and to give them information about what will be happening. When they come to Rainbow House, the advocate greets them and gives them a tour. It is comforting to both parent and child to see where the interview will take place and to even sit in the room.  This is a great opportunity for the child to ask any questions that they may have. There is a family-friendly waiting room for the family to play and sit. The children start playing with the toys and they become more comfortable in this environment. The advocate plays with the children and talks with the parents, this is a wonderful opportunity to reassure the family that this is a comfortable place to be. Rainbow House is proud to be a child-friendly environment. We want the parents and child to feel comfortable and at ease.

Once the interview begins, it is important that the advocate talks with the parents of the child. Usually, the parents have many questions about the interview process as well as the investigative process. Some parents may even need to talk about some of the many emotions that they may be feeling as well as what their child may be feeling. The advocate provides the parents with a sense of support and encouragement. 

The family advocate’s job does not end after the interview is over. The advocate follows up with families after they leave Rainbow House. Part of the advocate’s job is to assist the families in any way that they can. Some of the many services the advocate can provide are help in finding resources such as food, clothing, education, housing and utilities, child care, health care, support groups for child and family and referrals for therapists. The family advocate works so that parents and guardians know that they are not alone and encourage them to move forward with their lives.