Making it easier to talk to your child.
Discussing body safety with your child is not easy. As parents, we often tell ourselves that “this couldn’t happen in my family” or “my friend/brother/neighbor would never do that to my child.” But these are among the many myths that enable abusers to do their damage.
It is imperative to discuss body safety with your child. It doesn’t need to be intimidating or scary. These conversations can start small and grow more complex over time. Here are some tips to get started and a list of recommended books to help you and your children fully understand the issue.
Keeping children safe online.
It’s estimated that 1 out of 5 children are solicited sexually online—so parents also have to talk about Internet safety with their children. Here are some guidelines and resources for having and reinforcing those conversations.
Additional resources for parents and children.
• Learn the scope of the child sexual abuse problem in Kent County and around the country. CAC Statistics – National & Local
• KIDS Have Rights®, a program of the Children’s Advocacy Center, goes into area schools to educate students, staff and parents about body safety.
• Stewards of Children® is a national training program empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse. It is conducted locally by the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I expect my child’s session to last?
Typically, therapy appointments are scheduled for 1 hour, however this could vary on a case-by-case basis dependent on family’s needs. Both caregivers and children will participate within therapy sessions. Generally, the majority of the session is dedicated to individual child therapy, with 15-20 minutes reserved for parent check-ins or joint counseling opportunities with both the parent and child. Parents are expected to be present at the Children’s Advocacy Center throughout their child’s entire counseling session and to be an active participant in the therapy process.
How long will my child remain in counseling services?
Treatment length will vary depending on a variety of factors including a child’s age, the types of trauma symptoms that a child is experiencing, as well as the type of therapy being utilized by a child’s clinician. Typically, families can expect that their child will be engaged in counseling services for about six months. All children can remain in counseling for as long as needed to address concerns related to sexual abuse, however, they may be referred to another community resource to assist with concerns unrelated to trauma or sexual abuse following treatment at the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Do I have to have insurance to obtain services?
All services, including counseling, offered by the Children’s Advocacy Center are provided at no cost to families who live in, or around, Kent County.
How do I know if my child needs counseling?
Children react to trauma in many different ways and as a result, it is recommended that you contact your family advocate, or speak with a member of the therapy team, if you have any questions related to your child’s behavior or response to a traumatic event. If you have observed a change in your child’s behaviors or moods, this is generally an indication that counseling would be beneficial.
Should I discuss my child’s traumatic experience with them to aid in the therapy process?
It is best to be supportive and caring if your child approaches you with a discussion about their abuse. Listen to what your child has to say and praise them for having the courage to share with you about their experience. It is not recommended that you ask questions or that you initiate conversations related to the abuse so that your child can be in control of what they share, when they are ready to share it.
How do I find out about the status of my child’s case?
For all information related to the investigation/case, please contact the detective assigned to your child’s case. You are also able to call the police department directly if you do not have your detective’s information.
Will I (Parent/Caregiver) be participating in counseling?
Yes! The participation of parents and caregivers in the counseling process is often the number one factor in a child’s recovery. As a caregiver, you are with your child most often, and as a result will need to be aware of the education and skills being taught through therapy so that you can help your child use these tools in their everyday life.