At Harbor House
- We provide a comfortable, child-friendly environment to talk with kids.
- We coordinate investigations so agencies work together in child abuse cases.
- We help victims and families find the support they need throughout the process.
Your Visit to Harbor House
The Law Enforcement (LE) or Dept. Of Family Services (DFCS) agency working with your family will schedule an appointment on your behalf. When you come to Harbor House, an advocate will meet with you to gather background information and explain the process of speaking with your child.
After speaking with your child, the advocate will again meet with you to discuss the outcome, discuss ‘next-step’ options, and answer any questions you may have. LE/DFCS will also be present to discuss their ‘next steps’ plans and, of course, answer any of your questions.
For more information about the process, click the tiles below. The information has tabs directed towards kids, and tabs directed towards parents/caregivers. We encourage you to review this information and share it with your child. This information can help put kids more at-ease about coming to Harbor House.
Information for Kids
When you come to Harbor House, the first thing you’ll do is hangout in one of our playrooms which have a TV for Netflix, etc., toys and board games, etc.. We have a playroom in each house, one for interviews and one for therapy services. Playrooms have a few toys and also a television where you can watch movies.
After you’re in our playroom for a while, somebody from Harbor House will meet with you. They’ll talk with you to see what you like to do for fun, learn more about you, and talk about different kinds of stuff like that. Some kids like to color or draw while talking. Sometimes kids (and teens too) are nervous because they’ll be talking with somebody they’ve never met. Don’t worry! This will also be the first time they’ve ever met you too.
Information for Caregivers
Before talking with your child, the team working with you and your family will speak with you. They will gather background information about your child and situation. They will also briefly explain the interviewing process and answer any questions you might have.
Advocates specially trained in talking with children and adolescents will speak to your child about the situation. The process is designed to help your child feel at-ease. Our goal is for your child to leave with a feeling that he/she would come back without hesitation if they ever needed.
After The Interview
For the Kids
After hanging out with Harbor House staff in the meeting room, you’ll have a chance to go back to the playroom. The staff will again meet with whoever brought you to Harbor House. You’ll also have a chance to choose a stuffed animal and a Blanket Buddy to take home for keeps. Every kid, teen (and sometimes adults too!) gets to choose a stuffed animal and Blanket Buddy–if he/she wants.
For the Caregivers
After the interview, the team will again meet with you to discuss the outcome of the interview with your child. Harbor House staff can make recommendations about what’s best for you and your family. The team can also provide information regarding their next steps in terms of the investigation. Of course, the entire team will be there to answer any questions you have.
A member of Harbor House Staff will contact you a few weeks after the interview to follow-up with you to see how things are going, answer any questions, and provide you with any additional resources needed. You may choose to have this conversation via a phone call or you can meet with staff in-person.
Harbor House offers on-site therapy to children/families at no cost for those who it may benefit, and we also refer to local professionals when necessary.