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As one of over 900 Child Advocacy Centers in the United States, the Santa Rosa Kids’ House
mission is to deliver a well-coordinated and multi-disciplined response to child abuse in an environment
that puts the needs of children first. It is our vision to create a community where all children are nurtured to learn and grow in the context of safe and stable families that are equipped with the tools to prevent abuse and neglect.
The Santa Rosa Kids’ House provides preventative, intervention and therapeutic services to children who have been sexually abused or neglected. Our facility uses the multidisciplinary team approach to reduce trauma to the child. Our services are divided into three main facets:
More often than not, perpetrators of child abuse were abused themselves as children. In order to stop the cycle of abuse Santa Rosa Kids’ House staff members participate in community outreach to increase public awareness about healthy relationships, child abuse and the recovery process. In addition, the Florida Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit provides education to Santa Rosa County schools on safe Internet surfing to students and parents.
Law enforcement, social workers, medical professionals, school personnel, family members and community members refer alleged victims of abuse. In a warm, homelike environment, a professional who specializes in working with abuse victims of all ages interviews a child which can be viewed on electronic monitoring equipment by representatives of the local law enforcement, the Department of Children and Families, and the State Attorney’s Office. The child is then given a medical exam designed to detect the physical symptoms of abuse. Although the Florida Attorney General’s Office, Cyber Crimes Unit works primarily on the investigation and enforcement of crimes related to child pornography over the Internet, these investigations frequently result in the identification of child victims of sexual abuse, who have their own needs.
Beyond its effective approach to child abuse cases, the Santa Rosa Kids’ House offers on site specialized sexual abuse therapy to help child victims and their families recover from their abuse. A highly trained Lutheran Services Counselor provides individual therapy, child group therapy, and non-offending parents’ group therapy. These services ensure that victims are able to process their abuse experience and learn strategies to keep themselves safe in the future, while helping their non-offending caregivers support their recovery and provide safe environments within which they can transcend their abuse.