What to Expect at Your Child’s Appointment

0641-193It is extremely important to us that every person who enters ABC House feels respected, supported, and safe. It is our goal for you to have a positive experience at our Center. In order to ease your mind, here are some answers to these frequently asked questions:

What happens during a visit?

  • Upon arrival, you and your child will be welcomed into an inviting atmosphere by a member of the staff or volunteer.
  • Your child will have the chance to play and relax in our playroom while you complete initial paperwork with an advocate.
  • You will meet with a team privately to provide health & social history about you and your child. The team will explain the assessment process to you.
  • Following the caregiver history, you will return to the waiting room and your child will accompany our doctor or interviewer for his or her assessment.
  • You will have the opportunity to discuss questions or concerns both before and after your child’s assessment.
  • Our advocate will also help connect your family to other services you or your child may need, such as counseling.
  • After your visit, we are available for further information or assistance

Can I be in the room during the medical exam?

  • Children are examined in a private supportive setting; children may request a support person to accompany them.

Can I be in the room for the interview?

  • Parents are not present during the interview. Our interviewers meet with parents after every interview and will answer any questions or concerns they may have at that time.

How much time will a visit take?

  • The complete information-gathering assessment may take about two hours. The exam itself lasts approximately 15 minutes; an interview may last an additional hour.

What if my child (or I) needs counseling?

  • What to do next can be confusing and overwhelming for families. Our mental health advocates can help you to understand the feelings and behaviors that might occur in the weeks and months to come. They can help you to know what is normal and when you might need extra help. They can explain how counseling might help your family and what to expect from that process. They can help you with referrals to the best therapist in the community to meet your insurance needs as well as find a good personality match for your child. They are here and available to help you with any referrals or questions that may arise.

What about the court process?

  • No one should have to go through the court process alone. A Crime Victim Specialist from Victim Services in the District Attorney s Office will contact you to be of further assistance and answer any questions you have regarding the justice process.

Is there a cost for the appointment?

  • Families should not have to pay for services needed because of abuse. When possible, health insurance is billed for ABC House services. When that is not possible, ABC House staff helps families with Victims of Crime Compensation forms. This is a Department of Justice resource to off-set costs associated with victimization which includes counseling for family members. Cost should never be a barrier to receiving the care you need.