Located in New York City, Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center offers treatment to child abuse victims. Since its inception, the center has adopted a multidisciplinary approach in rehabilitating child abuse victims (SHO, 2013).
Indeed, the Center is among the first child rehabilitation centers to offer a multidisciplinary approach for treating victims of child abuse. This model emanates from the vision of Jane Barker, the founder of the center, who wanted to offer personalized and thoughtful care to child abuse victims.
Inspired by studies that showed increased trauma for victims who had to explain their ordeal to different agencies (Stewart & Rhoden, 2006), the center offers one location where victims receive treatment and counseling.
The multidisciplinary approach eliminates the need for the victims to visit different agencies and explain their ordeal always. By providing a coordinated approach of treating and counseling child abuse victims, Jane Barker Center helps to reduce the trauma of child abuse victims (Crisp & Lister, 2006).
Adoption of the Multidisciplinary Approach in Addressing Child Abuse
The multidisciplinary approach has helped Jane Barker center to coordinate the activities of different agencies in New York, including “the New York Police Department, the district attorneys’ offices, medical centers and hospitals, and child protective services” (SHO, 2013, p. 2).
Initially, these agencies used to work in isolation. The lack of a common platform where they could merge their efforts greatly inhibited their effectiveness in addressing child abuse cases. Boldly, the Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center has helped to provide a platform for the coordination of different agencies.
Motivated by the goal to provide comprehensive care to child abuse victims, the advocacy center helps its clients to do what is exceptionally hard after experiencing child abuse – talk about the experience. The center has a team of specially trained interviewers who gather important information about a victim’s experience (by providing them with a comfortable environment where they can discuss their ordeal).
During the interviews, the center allows children to play with toys or watch movies so that they feel relaxed. Later, during the interviews, representatives from different agencies (district attorney’s office and the police department) watch through a closed circuit camera and take notes about useful information for arresting and prosecuting offenders.
On a case-by-case basis, the inter-agency team develops a strategy to help the victims and prosecute the offenders. This multidisciplinary approach helps to expedite the treatment and rehabilitation process. Stevens (2013) affirms this fact when he says,
“The multidisciplinary team approaches for helping young victims make the process easier for the victim because they only need to be interviewed once and it allows all these specialists to consult each other and work together under one roof to provide the best possible care” (p. 1).
Comprehensively, the Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center acts as a specialized unit that integrates the skills of different professionals (mostly health workers and law enforcement officers). Certainly, according to Dr. Daniele, who works at the center, most of the professionals come from a specialized group of people who understand how to manage child abuse cases (Stevens, 2013).
The multidisciplinary model for treating and rehabilitating child abuse victims has contributed much to the success of the advocacy center (Smith & Birney, 2005) and shown its efficacy in providing holistic care to victims. Today, the institution rehabilitates more than 2,000 child abuse victims every year (SHO, 2013).
Crisp, B., & Lister, P. (2006). Nurses’ perceived training needs in child protection issues. Health Education, 106(5), 381 – 399.
SHO. (2013). Child Advocacy Centers: Jane Barker.
Smith, P., & Birney, L. (2005). The organizational trust of elementary schools and dimensions of student bullying. International Journal of Educational Management, 19(6), 469 – 485.
Stevens, A. (2013). Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center- the hub in Brooklyn.
Stewart, J., & Rhoden, M. (2006). Children, housing and health. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 26(7), 326 – 341.