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For many children, abuse is fraught with shame and guilt. Even with the best of coping skills, suspicion of abuse can throw a family into crisis.
Alaska CARES is an outpatient clinic located near Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. The clinic provides evaluations for children, newborn to age 18 years (and some developmentally delayed adults) for whom there is a concern for sexual or physical abuse, severe neglect, drug endangerment, fabricated illness or witness to violence or trauma. 24-hour on-call services are available for cases that are considered emergent. These cases usually come to the attention of law enforcement via 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 500 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
Children are able to come to a single location to be interviewed and have a medical 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.
Interviewers are trained in forensic interviewing of children and skilled at talking with children about sensitive topics.
Our nurse Practitioners, forensic nurses and medical director have specialized training in providing child abuse exams. Sexual abuse evaluations use a colposcope for light and magnification so the exam is non-invasive.
A victim advocate from STAR (Standing Together Against Rape or Southcentral Foundation 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 abuse concerns.
Alaska CARES provides referrals so that children and families can connect to services that help the healing process begin. On site mental health services are provided to families without insurance.
What is child sexual abuse?
“All sexual touching between an adult and a child is sexual abuse. Sexual touching between children can also be sexual abuse when there is a significant age difference (often defined as 3 or more years) between the children or if the children are very different developmentally or size-wise. Sexual abuse does not have to involve penetration, force, pain, or even touching. If an adult engages in any sexual behavior (looking, showing, or touching) with a child to meet the adult’s interest or sexual needs, it is sexual abuse. This includes the manufacture, distribution and viewing of child pornography.” –www.stopitnow.org
What is child physical abuse?
Child physical abuse is when a child is inflicted with a physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child. Some injuries may include pattern injuries, fractures, burns, bruises, welts, cuts and internal injuries. The abuse may not be intentional and may result from over-discipline or punishment.
When should a child be seen right away?
Has the incident of abuse taken place within the past 72 hours?
Is the alleged abuser in the home with the child? Are there other children in the home with the alleged offender?
Does the child have current physical findings or symptoms?
Does the child need immediate medical attention?
Alaska CARES Main number: 561-8301
Alaska CARES Fax number: 561-8170
24-Hour On Call Anchorage Police Department: 786-8900
Emergency 911 Office of Children’s Services: 269-4000
Children are to be SEEN, HEARD and BELIEVED
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Education and Outreach
24-Hour On Call
Anchorage Police Department
Providence Emergency: #911
Alaska CARES is an accredited member of the
National Children's Alliance
a nationwide not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote and support communities in providing a coordinated investigation and comprehensive response to victims of severe child abuse.
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