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Alaska CARES


For many children, sexual abuse is fraught with shame and guilt. Even with the best of coping skills, suspicion of sexual abuse can throw a family into crisis.
 
Alaska CARES is an outpatient clinic located near Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. The clinic provides sexual and physical abuse evaluations for children, newborn to age 18 years, and 24-hour on-call services for cases that are considered emergent. These cases usually come to the attention of law enforcement or the emergency departments of local hospitals.
  
Part of a National Network
Alaska CARES is a Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), and a member of the National Children's Alliance, which is the governing body for more than 450 Children's Advocacy Centers across the United States. CAC's are comprehensive, child-centered programs, based in a facility that allows law enforcement, child protection professionals, prosecutors, mental health professionals, victim advocates, and the medical community to work together to evaluate child abuse cases. The overarching goal of all CAC's is to make sure that the children are not further victimized by systems designed to protect them.
 
A Supportive Environment
  • Interviewers are trained in forensic interviewing of children and skilled at talking with children about sensitive topics.
  • Nurse Practitioners have specialized training and are skilled in providing a child examination using a highly technical instrument, a colposcope. The colposcope uses light and magnification so the exam is non-invasive.
  • A victim advocate from Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) or Southcentral Foundation (SCF) is available to provide support to the child and family while at Alaska CARES.
  • Family Care Coordinators are on staff for crisis intervention, and to help the child and family through the upheaval that often accompanies child sexual abuse.
  • Alaska CARES provides referrals so that children and families can connect to services that help the healing process begin.
Efficient Case Management
  • Children are able to come to a single location to be interviewed and have a physical examination.
  • The multidisciplinary approach to child abuse evaluations ensures that decisions are made as a team and include the child's family.
  • The child-friendly environment helps children feel welcome and safe, sometimes for the first time.