Family advocates play a neutral role when supporting families from the time their child discloses of abuse all the way through the court process and beyond. Three advocates at Clifford Beers CATCH Program shared how they assist families in meeting basic and emotional needs while navigating the criminal justice system. Many families face challenges when first accessing assistance. These advocates walk alongside the family through the process, help answer questions, make referrals to assist in meeting basic needs, and provide education on victims rights and the dynamics of abuse.. The advocates shared that most children and their caregivers feel overwhelmed or even frightened by the words “DCF” or “Police Officer”. An advocate can help by educating them about the involvement and role of these professionals. These advocates hearts are full and are ready to help both children and their families when they need it. These services are free and available in both English and Spanish.
“In English, all the information we give can be confusing to parents and children, imagine hearing it in a different language it’s like a whole other world. We are here to help assist those families that need translations in order for them to fully understand and comprehend the process.” -Maria Negron-Hart, Family Advocate-Clifford Beers