A Safe Place for Kids to Tell Their Story
Since 1996, the Children’s Interview Center (CIC) has worked in partnership with Law Enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, Children and Family Services, County Mental Health, and other community agencies as part of a county-wide Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). Working collaboratively, the Team and the CIC respond primarily to allegations of child sexual abuse, but also to allegations of child physical abuse or witnesses to other traumatic events.
The CIC provides specialized services to these children and their supportive families, including child forensic interviews, non-acute forensic medical examinations, advocacy services, parent education, and access to therapy. The CIC is a safe and child/ teen-friendly environment where children ages 2 – 17, as well as developmentally delayed people of any age, can disclose what happened in a safe and comfortable setting, and begin their healing.
Conducting over 500 interviews per year, the primary goal of the CIC is to support effective investigations of child abuse by providing standardized forensic interviews, in order to hold abuse perpetrators accountable while minimizing duplicative interviews and further trauma to children and families. In order to reduce trauma, children are interviewed by a specially trained professional in a supportive setting. In certain circumstances, Contra Costa County’s specially trained facility dog may be present with the child during the interview to provide comfort.
The work of the CIC is made possible by its small but dedicated staff, the continued support and collaboration of its MDT partners, and by generous grant funding from foundations, organizations, and individuals in our community.