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What to Expect (FAQ)

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Our commitment is that every person who enters ABC House feels respected, and safe, and has a positive experience. In order to ease your mind, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:


What happens during a visit?

  • Upon arrival, you and your child will be welcomed into our family waiting room 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 and 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.

  • Xander, our Courthouse-Facility Dog is available upon request and consent.

How much time will a visit take?

  • The entire child abuse assessment will take about 3.5-4 hours. The complete information-gathering assessment may take about two hours. The exam itself lasts approximately 30-45 minutes; an interview may last an additional hour.

What if my child (or I) needs counseling?

  • Traumatic events can often lead to difficult emotions, disruptive behaviors, and mistaken beliefs. Trauma counseling can help you to understand the feelings and behaviors you and your child are experiencing, and to learn the tools to move forward.

  • During your child’s appointment, our team will explain how trauma counseling might help your family and what to expect from the counseling process. Our advocate can help you with additional referrals to our in-house program and information about other local counseling programs. We 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 pay no out-of-pocket costs for the assessment appointment and no family is ever turned away for an inability to pay for any of our services. 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 offset costs associated with victimization which includes counseling for family members. Cost should never be a barrier to receiving the care you need.

What are your current COVID-19 safety measures?

  • With guidance from federal and state authorities, we are taking the highest precautions to protect our child clients, their families, and our employees so that our services can continue when they are needed most.

  • As a specialized medical facility, ABC House has always followed recommended clinical hygiene standards and protocols. We have increased the frequency and extent of our cleaning to further minimize the risk of illness transmission from surfaces, especially those areas regularly in contact with little hands. 

  • Masking is optional for all visitors. However, if you are feeling ill or are showing COVID-19 specific symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, please call us before your appointment so we can reschedule if needed. 

ABC House complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.

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