Children’s Justice Center

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Utah County Children’s Justice Center

The Utah County Children’s Justice Center (UCCJC) provides coordinated healing to abused children.

Traditionally, investigation of child sexual abuse required multiple interviews of the child victim by police, social services, medical personnel, psychologists, and attorneys. Each interview occurred at a different place and rarely in a setting that was familiar or comfortable for the child.

The Children’s Justice Center is a place for the child with a home-like environment, where the necessary interviews can occur in an atmosphere that is non-threatening to the child.

A comprehensive interview that addresses the concerns of all the agencies investigating the case will be conducted by one team member. This team member, the clinical coordinator, and the victim/witness assistant are the consistent contacts between the child and the Center.

The focus and function of the CJC are to reduce the trauma of the child abuse investigation and help the child feel safe to reveal the truth and start healing immediately. Additionally, the center provides emotional support for the child and non-offending family members, as well as referrals to treatment and other needed community resources.

No longer will the child have to relive the nightmare over and over; Instead they are able to start healing.

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The Children’s Justice Center provides or coordinates:

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  • INVESTIGATIONS – Investigation of child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse by trained professional law enforcement personnel and CPS social workers, including comprehensive child interview process (video and audiotaped) and multidisciplinary staffing and tracking of the case.
  • MEDICAL – Medical forensic exams for child abuse victims, in consultation with Primary Children’s Medical Center Child Protection Team, provided at the center.
  • MENTAL HEALTH – Mental health assessment and referrals to community providers for the child and family. (Funding is available for the treatment of victims and family members who are without other resources.)
  • TREATMENT PROGRAM – Child Victim Treatment Program – Group therapy for children.
  • SUPPORT – Victim/Witness support services.
  • INTERVENTION – Crisis intervention and emotional support for child and family.
  • TRACKING/MONITORING – Tracking and monitoring of case progress through the criminal justice system.
  • EDUCATION – Community Education/Presentations.
  • ADDITIONAL EDUCATION – Support/Education for non-offending parents.
  • PROFESSIONAL TRAINING – Professional training on child abuse issues.
  • MENTOR – Child Mentor Program to provide emotional support for the child and family.

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Listen to the story from Keira and Deondra, abuse survivors that went to the CJC.

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Before & After UCCJC

Prior to the creation of the Utah CJC’s, investigation of child abuse may have required a child victim to be interviewed by police, social services, medical personnel, psychologists, and prosecutors. The primary function of the CJC is to provide a facility where children can feel more comfortable and receive coordinated services as part of the investigative process. The interviews are completed in a home-like setting by law enforcement and/or social service investigators. The interview is recorded so representatives from all involved agencies are able to use the interview in their investigation.

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  • The child is brought into the center.
  • The child is taken into a room that is extremely child friendly, based on their age.
  • The child is interviewed by a licensed therapist.
  • While the child is being interviewed, the interview is recorded and watched by investigators and other needed/required personnel.
  • The child may see a trained medical practitioner at the CJC.
  • The child is encouraged, strengthened, and supported.
  • The child is taken to another room to choose a hand-stitched Teddy Bear
  • The child starts healing immediately!

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  • Medical forensic exams on-site at some centers
  • Tracking and monitoring of cases through the criminal justice system
  • The collaboration of resources among agencies involved in the investigation
  • Community education presentations
  • Referrals for mental health and other services

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