|Child Protection Center|
The mission of the Child Protection Center (CPC) is to build a healthier community by leading the response to the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and violence. The CPC accomplishes its mission by providing forensic interviews, family advocacy and mental health services to children 3 to 17 living in Jackson County, who are victims of sexual or physical abuse, or who have witnessed violent crimes. CPC also conducts interviews with the children's non-offending caregivers.
The CPC ensures children who are victims of child abuse or witness to violent crimes are properly identified, that their statements are made through forensic interviews, and that they are ensured access to all necessary mental health treatments and social supports as soon as possible.
854 Victims Served
In 2021, the CPC served 854 victims of child abuse. Of those, 696 were from Jackson County.
Today, evidence-based research continues to establish a strong link between victims of child abuse and the potential for future juvenile delinquency and criminal activities; substance use disorder; future, often violent, adult criminal behavior; and also, the link between child abuse and substance abuse in the home.
The Child Protection Center Program addresses these links by providing forensic interviews, family advocacy and mental health services for child abuse victims and their families.
Family Advocacy & More
The CPC's forensic interviews protect children by providing early identification of abuse. The forensic interview serves as the child's statement and can be used as evidence in civil or legal cases. Beyond the forensic interviews, the CPC provides family advocacy for non-offending caregivers, including education about navigating the legal system, and referrals for medical, mental health and social services.
Because we know that victims of child abuse often come from homes where there are multiple family stressors, the CPC developed a Family Questionnaire that is given to all caregivers. This tool is used to identify indicators of family stress, including substance abuse, domestic violence and other issues. If stressors are indicated, the CPC's Family Advocate works with the caregivers to help them understand that, because of the abuse, their child is at increased risk for future substance abuse and criminal activity, including violent crime. As such, the CPC's Family Advocate provides caregivers with the needed resources and referrals to support their child and respond to his-her-their needs and the needs of the family.
The Family Advocate also emphasizes the value of mental health services that can help their child develop coping mechanisms to deal with the effects of the abuse now instead of turning to drugs, alcohol or criminal activities, including violent crime, later in life.
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Child Protection Center, 3101 Broadway Blvd, Suite 750, Kansas City, MO 64111