Professionals with specialized training and education perform a child medical evaluation and forensic interview when there are potential concerns for abuse, neglect, or exposure to violence. The evaluation includes a detailed history from a non-offending caregiver, a forensic interview and a medical exam in a nurturing and supportive child-friendly environment.

A Forensic Interview
is a structured conversation with a child using an evidence-based protocol, RADAR.  RADAR – Recognizing Abuse Disclosures And Responding – is a structured, child-friendly model for interviewing children and adolescents in cases of suspected child maltreatment. The purpose of the interview is to obtain a detailed history of the child’s experience to aid in medical diagnosis and assess the overall health, well-being, and safety of the child.
The Child Medical Exam takes place in a child-friendly examination room at the Carousel Child Advocacy Center. Each child receives a thorough head-to-toe exam similar to a well-child exam. Our medical staff is rostered through the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine Child Medical Evaluation program.

Following the child’s evaluation, our multidisciplinary team will formulate recommendations regarding the overall health and safety of the child which will be shared with the non-offending caregiver.

Will my child need counseling?
Some children do and some don’t. Every child is unique in how they cope. Some may not need counseling now but will need counseling down the road. Maybe you need counseling more than your child to help you cope with everything that has happened. Your advocate will listen and provide referral information. What we do know is that children who are believed and protected from continued abuse are able to do quite well.

It is very important to your child’s recovery that you work with a therapist specifically trained and experienced in trauma and abuse. This is a field with special expertise.

In most instances, it is important to provide your child with an opportunity to talk with a professional. Too often parents just want their child to “forget” about the abuse and “move on.” That’s easier said than done. Counseling can help your child and family through this very difficult time. It’s best to address issues and concerns now, rather than years later.

We have therapists available at the Carousel Center, or we can provide you with referrals to therapists in the community. Please call 910-254-9898 to request Therapy. Please know that if our therapist’s schedules are full, you may be referred to a community provider that provides Trauma Therapy.

How To Report Suspected Child Abuse

If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, or if you think a child may have died from being mistreated, the law requires you to report what you know to your county’s Department of Social Services.

  • New Hanover County: 910-798-3400
  • Brunswick County: 910-253-2077
  • Pender County: 910-259-1240

If you believe a child is in imminent danger call 9-1-1 immediately.

Additional resources:
The Suicide Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741
Trillium Screening Triage and Referral – 1-877-685-2415

Quick video overview of your visit to Carousel Child Advocacy Center