The Prescott House Child Advocacy Center was founded in 1987, making it the second child advocacy center to open in the nation.
Prior to the development of the Prescott House, children who were exposed to all types of abuse or violence were taken to numerous agencies and interviewed about their experiences by multiple professionals. Unfortunately, this caused these children to experience further trauma. The goal of Prescott House is to minimize trauma and promote healing for child victims by modeling a new standard that puts the needs of the child first. Presott House helped pioneer the Multi-Disciplinary Team approach to investigating child abuse that is now written in the state law.
This Multi-Disciplinary Team approach brings all of the professionals involved together under one roof so that the child does not have to continually re-tell their story.
At Prescott house, trained counselors conduct a forensic interview of the child in a neutral, child-friendly environment. A forensic interview is the preferred method of gathering factual information from children regarding allegations of abuse and or exposure to violence.
Investigators observe the interview remotely, eliminating the need for duplicate interviews. The forensic interview is one part of a larger investigative process. The purpose of the forensic interview is to gather relevant information that supports the furtherance of the investigation and encourages healing for the child.
After the interview, the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) conducts their investigations. This team consists of the Department of Human Resources, law enforcement, the District Attorney's Office, Prescott House staff, and medical professionals. After these investigations are completed, the team meets back at Prescott House to review all of the information gathered.
This allows the team to understand all aspects of the case as they make decisions regarding safety, treatment, and prosecution.