About the center
The Mayo Clinic Child and Family Advocacy Center offers an efficient, child-centered response to child abuse.
A multidisciplinary team that includes law enforcement, victims' advocates, health care providers, mental health practitioners, prosecuting attorneys and child protection officials works together to investigate cases of child abuse and care for victims. The center is designed to create a sense of safety and security for child victims and to put their needs first.
How it works
Families and children are usually referred to the Mayo Clinic Child and Family Advocacy Center by law enforcement or child protective services because of possible child abuse.
Children referred to the center typically will:
- Be interviewed by a trained interviewer
- Have a medical exam by a health care provider with expertise in injuries related to child abuse
The family member will:
- Meet with a victim advocate who will explain the investigation process and help you find helpful resources for continuing care
- Meet with a mental health provider to learn about your concerns and provide support to you
Later, the family member will meet with team members to learn about the evaluation and the team's recommendations. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss concerns with the team. The team will continue to be available to you as you work with law enforcement and child protection to address your child's needs.
Besides helping victims, the center is also a resource for other communities to further professional and community education and training in child abuse reporting, awareness and prevention.
Daniel D. Broughton, M.D., is the medical director of the Mayo Clinic Child and Family Advocacy Center.