The Gingerbread House employs forensic child interviewers trained in obtaining the details necessary to conduct effective and complete investigations of child sexual and severe physical abuse cases in a non-threatening manner. Children ages 2-14 from all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds are served.
The Gingerbread House has established a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) approach for responding to child abuse cases. The MDT consists of members from law enforcement, the Office of Community Services, the District Attorney’s Office, and medical and mental health agencies. All cases are coordinated, reviewed, and tracked by the MDT.
Mental Health Therapy Interventions
Counseling services for child victims interviewed at the Center and their non-offending caregivers are offered at the Gingerbread House by Licensed Professional Counselors at no cost to the victim’s family.
Family Advocacy & Supportive Services
The Gingerbread House offers referral services for child abuse victims and their families. Educational support groups for both child victims and their non-offending family members are offered year-round. Adult groups are facilitated by the primary Counselor and children’s groups are facilitated by the Family Advocate and Trained Volunteers. In addition, the Gingerbread House coordinates annual outreach programs in the local community, such as Sponsor-a-Family for Christmas and School Supply/Uniform Drive.
Community Education & Prevention Services
The Gingerbread House coordinates local efforts in child abuse education and awareness. Services includeKnowledge is Power and Stewards of Children. Knowledge is Power is a body safety / sexual abuse risk-reduction program with components for children (preschool through elementary school level), school personnel and other mandated reporters, and parents. Stewards of Children is a nationally-recognized, evidence based prevention program for adults by the organization Darkness to Light. The Gingerbread House Staff has been recognized as a facilitator of this program. In addition, the Gingerbread House conducts numerous presentations for community organizations on topics related to child abuse.
Professional Development & Training Opportunities
The Gingerbread House provides ongoing training for members of the Multidisciplinary Team and local agencies working in the field of child abuse. Events include Spring MDT Training, Cultural Diversity workshops, Videoconferences (through partnership with local agencies), national conferences such as National Symposium on Child Abuse (Huntsville, AL) and Crimes Against Children (Dallas, TX), and a number of other training opportunities.