Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center

We’re here for you.  We’re here with you.

Child Abuse Prevention Month Resources

Child Abuse Prevention Month Reference Sheet
April 2024 Child Abuse Prevention Month Calendar
Child Abuse Prevention Month Flyer 2024

Who We Are

The Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) provides children and their families impacted by abuse with everything they need to heal and more toward the bright futures they deserve. We bring together specially trained professionals to support and surround children and families with hope and healing. Kids-TALK CAC helps build a strong future for children and ultimately the entire community.

Who We Serve

Throughout Wayne County, the Kids-TALK CAC serves children through age 17 and their protective family members at two child-friendly facilities in Southgate and Detroit. Services include forensic interviewing, advocacy, onsite medical evaluations, mental health services, and outreach and prevention programming. Please visit the For Families and Caregivers section below to learn more about these services.
 
Forensic interview and advocacy services are provided without cost, and medical evaluations and therapy services are provided regardless of ability to pay.

 

 

Contact Us

 

Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center
Midtown Detroit
40 East Ferry Street
Detroit MI 48202
313-833-2970

 

Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center
The Guidance Center, Building 7
19275 Northline
Southgate, MI 48195
734-785-7716

 

Email the Kids-TALK CAC at kidstalkcac@guidance-center.org.

 

For therapy services contact 734-785-7705 x7672 or kidstalkcactherapy@guidance-center.org.

Detroit Campus (Free on-site parking available)

Southgate Campus (Free on-site parking available)

For Families and Caregivers


We would like to welcome you to the Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center! We are dedicated to helping and supporting children and families. We understand that you may have been through difficult times, and we want you to know that we are here to help you every step of the way.

When you come to the Kids-TALK CAC, you will meet caring and friendly professionals who are trained to support children and families who may have experienced abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. We have experts who work together as a team to provide the best care possible. We want you to know that you are not alone. We are here to support you and your child throughout this journey to healing and moving forward. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask any of our team members.

Forensic Interviews Advocacy Medical Evaluations Therapy

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected please contact the Department of Health & Human Services’ Centralized Intake for Abuse and Neglect immediately at 855-444-3911. Click here to make an online report of suspected abuse/neglect.

Information & Resources

What should you do when your child says they have been abused?

What is a disclosure? Disclosure means sharing or telling someone about something that has happened to them. You might hear that your child has “made a disclosure” or has “disclosed abuse.” Sometimes children may keep things to themselves (often for a long time) because they feel scared, embarrassed, or unsure if they will be believed. When a child discloses, it means that they trust the person enough to share their experiences or feelings.

Recognize the Clues: It can be very difficult for children to talk about what happened and/or children may not realize at first that what happened to them does not happen to everyone. Because of this, children may show signs that something is wrong or give “hints” about what is happening instead of directly telling someone. Children may do this because they hope that someone will ask them questions that they can answer instead of being the one to have to start the conversation and explain something that might not make sense to them.

When a child discloses some form of abuse, it can cause a lot of emotions and questions. What do I do? How do I support the child and keep them safe? Why didn’t they tell me sooner? Will they be okay? These emotions and questions are very normal to experience. It is important to remain calm and respond to your child in a caring and supportive way. Here are some first steps:

Stay Calm: Finding out that your child has been abused can bring up strong feelings and emotions, which is very normal. Try to keep your words and your body language calm, even if you feel upset or angry. If your child sees your strong feelings and emotions it might make it difficult for them to talk more about what happened and could impact how they deal with what happened. Create a safe and supportive place for your child, keep calm, and tell them that they are doing the right thing by sharing.

Believe the Child: It is important to believe your child. Let them know that you take their words seriously and that you are there to support them. Reassure them that they are not to blame for the abuse and thank them for their bravery in telling you. It is important that you do not ask questions that might make your child feel that they responsible for the abuse. Examples of questions that may result in children feeling blamed are “Why didn’t you tell me before?” “What were you doing there?” or “Why didn’t you stop it?”

Avoid Asking Detailed Questions: It is important to do more listening than questioning. While it may be difficult, do not ask your child too many details about what happened, as this may impact them being able to talk about what happened and may not be good for the investigation. Do not talk to the abuser about what happened. Leave that to the professionals.

Report the Abuse: Immediately after your child tells you, it is your responsibility to report the suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities. This report can be made without saying who you are, but it is helpful for the investigators to be able to talk to you. You can share with your child that you took what they said seriously and that you will need to tell some adults whose job it is to protect children.

If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected please contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centralized Intake for Abuse and Neglect immediately at 855-444-3911 or click here to make an online report of suspected abuse/neglect.

A report of child abuse/neglect can also be made to the police department where the abuse/neglect happened.

Get Help: After a child has been abused or neglected, they may need an interview, advocacy, a medical evaluation, and/or therapy. Kids-TALK CAC can provide all of these services in one place. Our specially trained team are here to support you and your loved ones. We want to create a safe and caring environment where you and your child can receive the support that you need to move forward and heal. To learn more about our services click here. (Lisa, can you then make the link go back to the page under “Information and Resources” where it welcomes to the CAC and they can click on each individual service if they choose? )

Provide Reassurance: After abuse, your child will need support and need to know that they are not alone, that they are loved, and that the abuse was not their fault. Try not to make promises that you cannot keep, but let your child know that you will do your best to keep them safe. Reassure your child that there are people who can help.

Take Care of Yourself: Supporting your child after they have disclosed abuse can be challenging. Make sure that you take care of yourself and seek support for yourself too. Remember, Kids-TALK CAC is a safe place and everyone here wants to help. If you have any questions, you can always talk to the Kids-TALK CAC team. We are here to support you!

Additional Resources

Coping with the Shock of Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse (pdf)
What to Do If Your Child Discloses Sexual Abuse (pdf)
Questions & Answers about Child Sexual Abuse (pdf)

 

Understanding words used at the Kids-TALK CAC

An allegation of child abuse or neglect means that someone is worried that a child might be getting hurt or not getting the care that they need. These concerns are usually reported to Children’s Protection Services and/or the police. Concerns of abuse/neglect need to be taken seriously to make sure that children are safe and well-cared for.

Disclosure is when someone shares or tells someone about something that has happened to them or how they are feeling. You might hear that your child has “made a disclosure” or has “disclosed abuse.” Sometimes children may keep things to themselves (often for a long time) because they feel scared, embarrassed, or unsure if they will be believed. When a child discloses, it means that they trust the person enough to share their experiences or feelings. If your child (or any child) discloses or says that they have been hurt or abused, it is important to take it seriously and report what your child said to professionals who can help.

Trauma describes something difficult that happens to a person. This can be something very scary or upsetting. When someone goes through trauma, it can affect how they feel and how they act. Trauma can make someone feel scared, sad, or angry and might make it difficult for them to feel safe or concentrate. It is important to let the child know that they are not alone and that there are people that can help them feel better.

Trauma-informed care is a way of helping and supporting people who have experienced trauma. It is a way of understanding that trauma can have a big impact on a person’s life and treating that person with kindness, respect, and understanding. Our goal is to make sure that children and their families feel supported, understood, and safe.

Evidence-based treatment means that we only use treatments or therapies that have been proven to work well based on scientific research. It is giving the best care and support to children to help them heal.

The Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) is a group of professionals from different disciplines/agencies who work together and share the common goal of supporting and protecting children and their families. This team includes expert social workers, advocates, forensic interviewers, police officers, doctors, therapists, and attorneys who come together to make decisions about how to help and make sure the needs of your child and family are met. Each team member has a special role based on their expertise, but we work together to ensure your child’s safety and well-being.

Law enforcement (LE)/Police: Law enforcement gets involved to help protect your child, ask a few questions about what happened, and gather evidence. It is important to know that law enforcement officers are there to help and protect your child and to hold offenders accountable.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Children’s Protective Services (MDHHS/CPS): The Children’s Protective Services program is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect. The framework for these investigations is the Michigan Child Protection Law.

Prosecuting Attorney: In Wayne County, prosecuting attorneys from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and/or the Michigan Attorney General’s Office may be involved in your child’s case. A prosecuting attorney is a lawyer who works on behalf of the government to keep children safe and seek justice when a crime has been committed. When a child abuse case goes to court, the prosecuting attorney is the person who presents the evidence and argues against the person accused of the abuse. The attorney is there to support your child and to work to ensure that the person responsible for the abuse faces consequences for their actions.

For the Community and our Donors

View Kids-TALK CAC infographic.

How you can help

There is no single source of funding for CACs and we rely on funding from private foundations and donors, as well as support from our annual Grape Expectations for Kids Dinner. Financial support from individuals and organizations allows us to continue to provide high-quality services to help children heal from abuse, neglect and trauma. To make a contribution to the Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center, please click here to donate or contact Alexander Sebastian at 734-785-7727 or asebastian@guidance-center.org.

Our Partner Network

Together with a network of leaders from the medical and mental health community, Kids-TALK CAC reduces the trauma experienced by child victims of suspected abuse. Kids-TALK CAC creates a safe and child-friendly environment where abused and traumatized children receive the protection, support and treatment they need to heal. Partners include:

 

2022 Wayne County Child Abuse and Neglect Protocol

This Protocol was first developed in 1991 due a recognized need that child victims of abuse and neglect required a different intervention approach than adults and a need for greater coordination of services from involved agencies. It serves as a road map for all of the disciplines that are involved in allegations of child abuse and neglect in Wayne County and provides a helpful reference of roles and responsibilities.

  

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