The Children’s Recovery Center (CRC) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization offering child advocacy center programs in Horry and Georgetown Counties in SC. We provide forensic interviews, medical examinations, and caring advocacy for children suspected of having suffered sexual abuse. At the CRC, the child comes first. Our counselors and therapists take every precaution to keep trauma to a minimum and avoid re-victimizing the child during the process of discovery.
The CRC receives referrals from law enforcement agencies and the Department of Social Services in Horry and Georgetown counties. That is when the recovery process begins.
Once a child is referred to us, he or she will enter a specially designed waiting room where children cannot help but relax. Our canine therapist, Roxie, is often ready to welcome them and deliver her special brand of calming reassurance. Rumor has it that she is our most popular employee, but she’s backed by an excellent team of passionate professionals.
Our own Dr. Carol Rahter, founder of the CRC, has specialty training in providing forensic medical exams. Dr. Carol completes a head-to-toe non-invasive physical exam to each child who is referred to the CRC. If necessary, the CRC will coordinate with other health professionals and refer children for follow-up medical treatment as necessary. Dr. Carol has a gift for calming children. She is patient and gentle and proceeds at the child’s pace. Dr. Carol volunteers all of her time to the CRC. All forensic medical exams are recorded and saved in case they may useful as court evidence. Dr. Carol often testifies in court on behalf of the children she sees.
The first person the child and his or her parents have contact with is our Children’s Advocate. The Advocate schedules all appointments and completes the intake process for all new clients. The Advocate explains in detail the forensic medical exam process and the forensic interview process to children and their caretakers. The Advocate will help families who come to our center for as long as necessary. An Advocate may accompany a family to court, help with the complicated legal paperwork, or simply be on the other end of the phone to listen and refer a family for other services that they may need.
Next, the child will meet with a knowledgeable interviewer, who brings a trained ear (and shoulder) to determine what may have happened to the child. A supportive team comprised of law enforcement, social services, and other professionals can simultaneously (and unobtrusively) view the interview, which is also videotaped. Using this multidisciplinary approach reduces the number of times the child has to relive a horrific event. All the key players have a forum for discussion as they hear the same story together and can make well-thought out decisions for the child. Our approach has helped increase criminal prosecutions as well as improved the outcomes for young victims of sexual assault.