Mary Bridge Children's Hospital

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Children's Advocacy Center of Pierce County

Putting children first

The mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Pierce County is to reduce the traumatization of child abuse victims and their families. We take a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to prevention, investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse.

How do we accomplish that?
By placing the needs of the child first. It is important for a child to receive services as soon as possible after a disclosure is made. Early intervention helps not only the investigation, but for recovery to begin as well.

We also:

  • Participate in joint interviews, reducing the number of interviews a child must endure to complete an investigation.
  • Improve outcomes by improving the immediacy of follow-up to child abuse reports and providing consistent support for the child and the supportive adults in their lives.
  • Provide community trainings for those who work with children to help to prevent further child abuse victimization.

Who is part of the Children's Advocacy Center team?
The Children’s Advocacy Center team includes, but is not limited to, representatives from the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement, Child Protective Services, the Attorney General’s Office, local mental health provider, forensic interviewers, victim advocate, social workers and medical staff from the Mary Bridge Child Abuse Intervention Department.

Who does the center serve?
A Children’s Advocacy Center is a community based facility designed for children ages 0 through 17 who are victims of suspected child abuse or neglect and their families.

What is the center like?
This Children’s Advocacy Center of Pierce County was funded by the Rotary Clubs of Pierce County and the Tacoma Orthopedic Association as well as many other community supporters. The Safe and Sound building is conveniently located on the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center campus in downtown Tacoma.

Our child friendly and relaxing atmosphere provides children and their families with a calming and supportive environment during a difficult time in their lives. Our lobby is full of children’s books, movies and toys, and includes a large fish tank.

What are the center's goals?
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Pierce County was established for our community to:

  • Promote child safety
  • Strengthen teamwork among professionals that work with victims of child abuse
  • Improve efficiency of referrals to investigative parties, medical, mental health and other treatment providers
  • Increase the rate of successful investigation and prosecution
  • Be a community resource for the education and training around child abuse issues

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Pierce County is recognized by the National Children’s Alliance and the Washington State Association of Children’s Advocacy Centers.