A Place of Refuge
Who We Are
We are a children’s advocacy center located in Shelby County, Alabama. Our office is a house just like any other, committed to providing a place of refuge and opportunities for justice and healing to the children we serve.
Our mission is to equip the Shelby County Community to protect, strengthen, and restore those who have experienced child abuse and trauma.
Child Abuse Cases
Our vision is to stop child abuse and provide healing to those who have experienced trauma.
What to Except
We know that discovering a child or loved one requires our services can be quite overwhelming. Please read below to get acquainted with the process, or feel free to email our Family Advocate at email@example.com with specific questions.
- What are Forensic Interviews? One-on-one conversations between a child and a specially trained interviewer. Forensic interviews follow a precise, evidence-based protocol in order to ensure accurate information is gathered about the topic or event in question.
- Who conducts the interview? We have one interviewer on staff and she is an unbiased, non-judgmental individual who was specifically trained to conduct developmentally- appropriate, fact-finding interviews with children. To date, our interviewer has performed over 2,000 F.I.s, conducting around 40 each month.
- How long will the interview last? Duration of interviews varies on a case-to-case basis, but they last on average one hour per child.
- Do I get to watch or listen to the interview? No, only the appropriate DHR, law enforcement, and other multidisciplinary team personnel watch the interview as it is being recorded. But, our interviewer will pull you back for a consultation following the interview to discuss findings and next steps with the team working the child’s case.
- What is an MDT and who is on it? The MDT (Multidisciplinary Team) is the group of people dedicated to supporting you and your child throughout their case. We at Owens House coordinate the Shelby County MDT, and it is comprised of law enforcement, medical personnel, DHR agents, social workers, and the District Attorney’s office. The Shelby County MDT has one common goal: to protect the children in our community. Thus, we collaborate on every case and meet monthly to review each individual we have served and how we can continue to advocate, provide for, and protect them.
- How frequently will my child come? Initially, we suggest the child come to counseling once a week as they begin to process their trauma. Then, as the child heals and becomes more self-sufficient, frequency can decrease to every other week or once a month at your and the counselor’s discretion.
- What model do the counselors use? Our counselors are trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), which is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma. Learn more about TF-CBT here: https://www.tfcbt.org/
- Do I get to meet my child’s counselor? Yes! Prior to your child’s first appointment, our counselors conduct what is called a Parent Intake, granting you the opportunity to get to know your child’s counselor and express any concerns or questions you may have.
- What does counseling cost? Nothing! Every service provided by Owens House is 100% free to the client and their family.
- Do you offer counseling for parents/non-offending caregivers? No, but we do have resources for parents as they navigate both their child’s and their own pain. First, we have our Family Advocate who is available to speak with you about any questions or concerns. She can also provide referrals to counseling providers who are equipped to walk you through your own healing journey.
The Shelby County Children’s
Advocacy Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 1145
Columbiana, AL 35051