When a child makes an allegation of severe physical abuse or sexual abuse, and it is reported to either Law Enforcement or the Department of Child and Family Services, a referral is then made to Shining Star Children's Advocacy Center. Shining Star will then schedule the child and family to come to Shining Star to receive a forensic interview by a trained Child Forensic Interviewer. Forensic interviews are conducted in an age appropriate manner, while utilizing trauma informed techniques to ensure trauma is not endured by the child. This interview allows the child to tell their story in a way that is comfortable for them. When the forensic interview is conducted, a team of professionals consisting of DCFS Investigators, Law Enforcement, and Prosecutors will be available to watch the forensic interview through a monitor in a separate room. When the interview is complete this team will meet with the parent or caregiver to give an update on the case.
While at Shining Star families will also receive services from our Family Advocate that include a summary of Shining Star's services, information on the investigation process, court advocacy, medical advocacy, and referrals to any needed services. Our Family Advocate will work with the child and family throughout the duration of the case ensuring the clients needs are met.
All Shining Star personnel are involved in case management meetings with our multidisciplinary team to review cases, and ensure cases are given the proper attention and investigation they require.
There is no cost to families for a child's forensic interview or advocacy services.
Recovering from the emotional and psychological effects of abuse takes time, and often help from others. Victims of abuse and their families find a significant amount of healing and empowerment through professional therapy and counseling services. Depending upon the child and the individual case, counseling may or may not be necessary. If counseling is needed, Shining Star can arrange and provide counseling services to the child and non-offending family members. Shining Star offers a comfortable setting where therapy services are provided. The course and type of counseling a child may receive depends upon a number of factors, but common issues often explored include crisis, fear, guilt, sadness, anger, feelings of betrayal, and loss of trust.
Shining Star provides individual counseling as well as a teen support group , as well as a parent/caregiver support group.
Shining Star covers the cost of the therapy or counseling so there is no cost to the child’s family.
Depending upon the individual case, a forensic medical examination may be required. The purpose of the medical exam of suspected abuse is the same as it is for any pediatric patient: to assess the physical, mental and safety status of the child. Through the use of a thorough head-to-toe exam, physical evidence resulting from the alleged acts may be found, and detailed evaluations and photo documentation of pertinent areas are made. Shining Star’s special medical room, like the rest of the facility, is child-friendly and comfortable. Examinations are performed by a physician, or physician assistant, who has been specially trained in the detection and treatment of child sexual and physical abuse.
There is no cost to the child’s family for the medical exam.
Shining Star Children's Advocacy Center
215 East 1st Street, Dixon, Illinois 61021, United States
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