Since 1997, CALICO, the Child Abuse Listening, Interviewing and Coordination Center, has served as a multi--disciplinary hub of police officers, child welfare workers, and prosecutors that respond collaboratively to child abuse allegations, hear children’s testimonies, and link children and families with vital therapeutic, medical and legal support services in Alameda County.
CALICO is the only multi-disciplinary interviewing center serving Alameda County. As part of a national movement of child advocacy centers, we ensure that children are not re-victimized by the very systems designed to protect them. We're an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance, an honor that demonstrates our high standards and proven record of effective investigation and response to suspected cases of child abuse.
CALICO serves children 2-17 years of age as well as a small number of developmentally delayed adults who were abused in Alameda County and provides family support services to their caregivers. In 2009, our clients were two-third girls and one-third boys. Approximately 74% disclosed sexual abuse and many were physically hurt, neglected, exploited as prostitutes, and/or exposed to violence in their homes and communities. The children we see are quite young: 40% were 2-6 years of age and another 40% were 7-12.
CALICO improves the quality of life of abused children and families in several important ways:
First, we stop the immediate violence for both the child interviewed and other children to whom the abuser has access.
Second, by coordinating the response of various agencies, we reduce further trauma to the child that would result from being part of multiple investigations.
Third, by connecting abused children with therapeutic support, we can break the inter-generational cycle of violence and help a child onto a path of healthy adulthood.