Historically, child abuse victims were required to tell their story multiple times to different agencies, forcing children to relive their traumatic experiences, often creating additional stress and anxiety for the child and their family. At River Bridge, a multidisciplinary team coordinates to work with children and their families and uses the collective knowledge and expertise of the team to improve the response and investigation to child abuse allegations.  

River Bridge is a cottage-style center that enhances children’s sense of safety and comfort while helping to lower anxiety. The center is designed to reduce stress on child abuse survivors and to improve the effectiveness of the response to child abuse allegations.

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Victim Advocacy 
A specially trained victim advocate serves as each child's guide and safety net during the most vulnerable time, keeping them fully informed about the process of the response, resources available to them, and ensuring their needs are met along the way. The victim advocate provides services to children and non-offending caregivers of children served at River Bridge.  

Our victim advocate is with the family from the moment they walk through the doors at River Bridge until their case has concluded.   

Forensic Interviews 
Forensic Interviews are conducted for children when there are allegations of maltreatment or when a child has witnessed or been a victim of a crime. These interviews are important to the investigation and prosecution of crimes against children.  

Within a child-friendly, warm and welcoming environment, our Forensic Interviewers interact with each child, asking them developmentally appropriate, non-leading questions. This allows for the child to share their experience and to provide information. The forensic interviewers are highly trained professionals with advanced understanding of child development, memory, suggestibility, linguistics, and trauma.  

Mental Health 
Our bilingual Mental Health Therapist provides individual and family counseling for child abuse survivors and their non-offending family members. Therapy helps to address, process and recover from these painful experiences. Mental health assistance may also include preparation for court testimony, as well as teen and parent support groups. 

Our mental health response uses developmentally appropriate techniques, trauma informed assessment tools and evidenced based practices to work with survivors and their families through the recovery process.  

Medical Care 
Children may also receive a specialized medical exam or consultation from our Pediatric Medical Provider. The overall purpose of the medical evaluation is to ensure the health and well-being of the children we serve. We offer medical care to address any medical needs or questions and to gather possible evidence of physical abuse and/or sexual assault.  

Facility Dog 
Frasier is a lab/golden retriever mix who was trained by Canine Companions for Independence and placed at River Bridge as our Facility Dog. His job is to provide a calm, neutral presence throughout the process  from initial disclosure, therapy, and even in the courtroom  helping children to feel safe and relaxed.

Child Abuse Prevention 
Through training and education, we are committed to preventing child abuse and neglect. River Bridge staff, board members, and multidisciplinary team provide training for parents, community groups, and professionals to raise awareness about child abuse, educate on child abuse prevention techniques, increase child self-protective skills, and teach trauma informed care and response.   

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"The biggest weapon we have against child sexual abuse is talking about it." 

Trudy Novicki, JD, Executive Director Kristi House