Child Abuse Services

CHKD Child Advocacy Center is a child-focused program where representatives from multiple disciplines collaborate to best help, support, and protect children and families when abuse is suspected. As a CAC, we only accept referrals from investigative and other multidisciplinary partner agencies that address child abuse.

We provide the following services to children and their families:

Forensic Interviews

Forensic Interviews: A developmentally sensitive and legally sound method of gathering factual information regarding allegations of a crime. The interview is conducted by a highly-trained, neutral professional interviewer utilizing research and practice-informed techniques as part of a larger investigation and court process.

Case Management Advocacy and Coordination

Case Management Advocacy and Coordination: Case managers screen referrals for our program and schedule services for children. They also act as liaisons between parents, investigators and the community, provide support to families, and help make referrals for additional services. They facilitate multidisciplinary teams and participate in community education.

Medical Services

  • Forensic Medical Examinations: A forensic medical examination allows for the evaluation of children suspected to have been sexually abused or to have suffered minor physical abuse.
  • Consultative Services for Investigators: When a child has been evaluated at an outside hospital or has not been evaluated by a medical provider, consultative services allow for expert physician consultation regarding suspicion of abuse.
  • Inpatient Consultative Services: Inpatient consultative services provide expert physician consultation for hospitalized CHKD patients with suspected abuse or neglect.
  • Pediatric Forensic Nurse Examination: CHKD's pediatric forensic nurse examiners provide emergency medical evaluations and evidence collection for children who have been sexually assaulted at the request of law enforcement agencies. When an emergency evaluation is needed, a qualified forensic nurse examiner is available 24 hours a day.

Mental Health Services

Our program's mental health team comprises of licensed clinical social workers and licensed clinical psychologists. Referrals are accepted from Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) agencies such as Child Protective Services, law enforcement, or military family advocacy programs. Our services include:

Mental Health Screening (MHS)

A MHS at the Child Advocacy Center is brief screening about your child’s emotions and behaviors. Some kids need help for the reason they came to our program, and some kids do not. The MHS will help you figure out if further mental health assessment, either here or with a community provider, might be helpful for your child.

Mental Health Assessment (MHA)

An MHA is a Mental Health intake to determine the best treatment for a child and family. The MHA includes completion of standardized assessment measures and a clinical interview with a mental health staff member.

Therapy Services

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents experiencing traumatic stress symptoms related to a traumatic experience, and includes participation from parents or caregivers. Research shows that TF-CBT successfully resolves a broad array of emotional and behavioral difficulties associated with single, multiple and complex trauma experiences. For more information about TF-CBT, visit
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: PCIT is an evidence-based treatment for children ages 3-6 years old with disruptive behavior disorders, as well as the emotional, behavioral, and relationship problems that are commonly seen among maltreated children and their caregivers. Both caregivers and children participate together in PCIT. For more information about PCIT, visit
  • Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI): CFTSI is a short term, evidence-based model for reducing traumatic stress reactions in children ages 7-18 years old, and their families, in the aftermath of a traumatic experience. For more information about CFTSI, click here.
  • Alternatives for Families – A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT): AF-CBT is a trauma informed, evidence-based treatment model designed to improve family relationships in families experiencing significant conflict, physical/force discipline, and/or child physical abuse. For more information about AF-CBT, click here.
  • Coping-in-Court Therapy Intervention: Coping in Court is a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy-based intervention designed to help children manage their distress in regards to going to court, while remaining sensitive to the legal process.

Psychological Evaluations

  • Parenting Capacity Evaluation (PCE): A PCE is an objective evaluation of a caregiver that aims to help social services organizations and the courts make informed decisions regarding caregiver risks and the fit of a caregiver and that particular child. The PCE is a comprehensive evaluation that is conducted by mental health staff.
  • Child Psychological Evaluation: A psychological evaluation answers questions about a child’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning. Psychological evaluations are trauma-informed and use assessments, medical record review, diagnostic interviews, and more to make a diagnosis and determine the best recommendations and care for each child
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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Program

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Program: A program designed to focus on the unique needs of minor victims of trafficking and those at risk for exploitation. The CSEC team identifies the acute needs of these children and coordinates with multiple agencies to ensure that the medical and mental health needs are addressed.

Hampton Roads Trauma Informed Community Network

The Child Advocacy Center is the backbone organization for the Hampton Roads Trauma Informed Community Network (HRTICN). HRTICN exists to promote understanding of how trauma affects individuals and communities, and to advocate practices that help all people reach their full potential. The network works to increase awareness of the presence, prevalence, and impact of traumatic stress; facilitate the adoption of trauma-informed policies and practices among care providers; and develop a cross-sector collaborative to create a trauma-responsive community of providers. HRTICN addresses the impacts of family violence, child abuse, neglect, and poverty in Hampton Roads. We ensure services and education occur in environments built around safety, trust, transparency, peer support, collaboration and mutuality, empowerment, voice and choice, and the recognition of cultural, historical, and gender issues.