When You Visit Cherish

Many parents and guardians have questions about what to expect when they have an appointment at CHERISH.  The Q&As below will help you prepare and feel reassured you are visiting a place that will make you feel safe and comfortable.

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Questions & Answers Regarding Your Visit to Cherish

 
I am worried that my child has been abused, can I call CHERISH and schedule and interview for my child?
 

Children are interviewed at Cherish based on referrals of sexual abuse and/or physical abuse from the Department of Child Services or law enforcement.  If you suspect abuse, please call 800-800-5556.


What do I tell my child about why they are visiting CHERISH?

It is beneficial to the child to explain to them that someone wishes to talk with him or her about what was reported.  It is also extremely important not to tell your child what to say. Let them know they are in a safe place and not in any trouble with the person they are talking with. 


What happens during the interview?

A professionally trained forensic interviewer will speak with your child.  The interviewer talks to them and asks them questions in a way that is developmentally appropriate to the child and avoids asking leading or suggestive questions.  A team of law enforcement, Department of Child Services, prosecution, mental health and medical professionals work together so that there is only one forensic interview.  This helps avoid the child having to share their experience over and over again.  The interview is recorded through a closed circuit camera.  The interviewer wears an earpiece so that team members are able to ask questions or relay information.  


Who is present during the interview?

To maintain the integrity of the investigative process, no one will be in the room with your child other than the interviewer. It is important that this is a one-on-one conversation to make the child feel as comfortable as possible. All interviewers are professionally trained child forensic interviewers. Furthermore, no one outside the Multidisciplinary Team is allowed to view the interview to protect confidentiality and privacy of the child.


What happens after the interview?

Following the victim interview, the team collectively decides upon the course of action regarding additional investigation and/or services for the child or family members.  A representative from law enforcement and the Department of Child Services will speak with you about what next steps are needed. Law enforcement and the Department of Child Services are the only agencies with information about the interview.  A victim advocate will talk with you about additional services that may be needed.


Does the parent or caregiver need to be present during an interview?
 

The non-offending parent or caregiver does need to be present for the interview.  A consent is needed in order for the child to be interviewed.  It is also important that the child feel safe and supported.

 

Additional Information About the Visit:

  • Alleged perpetrators are not allowed on CHERISH property. 
  • There is also no cost to families who visit CHERISH.