Hope for Abuse Victims through Education and Nurturing
Serving Cherokee and Clay Counties in North Carolina
H.A.V.E.N.'s symbol is a pinwheel and represents childlike whimsy, lightheartedness, and our vision for a world where ALL children grow up happy and healthy. It also symbolizes our Center's commitment to making our community a safe and nurturing place for ALL children and families.
Meet the Team
From the moment a child and family are welcomed at our center, our team strives to eliminate barriers and disadvantages so that all children and non-offending family members suffering from the painful symptoms of a traumatic experience are given the opportunity to heal and regain hope. These individuals may come from all different age groups, races, ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic classes, but they share one thing in common: their journey begins at H.A.V.E.N. Our team works diligently to support child and adult survivors of abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing accessible and adapted services throughout the duration of the client’s case by recognizing and focusing on the factors that contribute to their individualized and unique needs. Children referred to our Center may face a wide range of challenges, but H.A.V.E.N. takes all necessary and appropriate measures to eliminate inequities and is dedicated to serving them through the healing and recovery process.
The forensic interview is the initial step in determining the need for investigation, mental health/medical treatment, intervention, prosecution, advocacy, and most importantly how to protect the child’s physical safety and emotional well-being. All interviews are protocol-based and conducted by a interviewer trained to provide developmentally and culturally appropriate and legally defensible forensic interviews of children and adolescents involved in cases of alleged abuse. Forensic interviews are completed using the digital video recording system, which allows for the child to be interviewed in a comfortable space, while personnel from DSS, Law Enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office are able to simultaneously observe in a separate conference space at H.A.V.E.N. The ability to have these members gather in one location strengthens the case and helps prevent further victimization of children.
Child Medical Exam
A Child Medical Evaluation (CME) is a medical evaluation where service is provided by a qualified physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant rostered with the North Carolina Child Medical Evaluation Program (CMEP). A CME is a full-body examination of a child who may be a victim of abuse. The purpose of the exam is to determine whether there is any physical evidence to corroborate a disclosure of suspicion of abuse.
Recognizing the significance of thorough follow-up, H.A.V.E.N. facilitates multidisciplinary teams on child abuse throughout our service areas. Each month H.A.V.E.N. leads a team composed of professionals from our agency, DSS, Law Enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, Department of Juvenile Justice, Schools, Mental Health Providers and Medical Healthcare Providers. Coordination of these monthly multidisciplinary team meetings allows frequent case review/follow-up to ensure no case falls through the cracks, the strongest possible prosecution of offenders is supported, and that all appropriate services are being offered to the victims of child abuse and their non-offending family members.
Child & Family Advocacy
Victim support and advocacy are key components for our advocacy center. Child and family advocacy services are provided to all children served by our Center, as well as to non-offending parents, guardians, and other family members. These services are designed to give support and education to the children and caregivers.
Individual and Family Counseling
H.A.V.E.N. provides ongoing support to clients throughout the aftermath of child abuse including advocacy, crisis intervention, and referral to other community services. H.A.V.E.N. contracts with community counseling agencies to provide all counseling services. These appointments may be scheduled at out center or at other locations throughout our serviced area.
H.A.V.E.N. assists it's families in navigating through the court system. Our staff can explain the court process, and schedule and attend appointments with Law Enforcement and the District Attorney's Office.