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National Childres Alliance

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In Washington County, we are fortunate to have a highly trained team of professionals which meets every week to respond to child abuse reports. The roles of the team members are described below.

District AttorneyThe State’s Attorney/Prosecutor
The prosecutor has the final decision as to whether charges will be filed. Consideration is given to many factors which will affect the likelihood of success in court. Some of the factors considered are: age and maturity of the child, the child’s ability to testify, whether or not the suspect has confessed, presence of medical evidence, and whether or not there are other witnesses.

The Law Enforcement Officer
The Hagerstown Police Department, Maryland State Police, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have investigators on the team. They interview children, non-offending parents, suspects and other witnesses, and gather evidence from the scene of the alleged event.

The Social Worker
The Social worker investigates allegations of physical and sexual abuse of child victims. They work jointly with law enforcment. Social workers evaluate the safety of the chilren within the home and develop safety plans when needed. They may refer you and/or your child to multiple resources within the community.

NurseThe Doctor/Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE)
The Medical doctor and Forensic Nurse Examiners working with the team have years of experience in examining children for abuse. They provide on-site forensic medical exams. The pediatrician and nurse are specially trained in sexual and physical abuse of children. The forensic medical component includes:

  • The medical history
  • Assessment of injury using a medscope
  • Photodocumentation of findings
  • Screening for sexually transmitted disease and
  • Instructions for referrals, prevention and treatment options.

The Therapist
The therapist on the team helps to decide how the abuse has affected the child and non-offending family members and what can be Social Workerdone to assist them in healing from the experience. Safe Place employs an on-site licensed therapist to provide abuse-focused individual, group, and family treatment. The therapist works toward restoring the child’s normal developmental functioning and assist the non-offending parent in overcoming the crisis.

The Family Advocate
The Family Advocate is a trained professional who helps the child that was abused and the non-offending caregiver when abuse is reported. The FA helps the non-offending caregiver connect with services in the community and provides support as the caregiver protects her child in the aftermath of the abuse report.

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Safe Place - Washington County Child Advocacy Center - 24 N. Walnut Street, Suite 201 - Hagerstown, Maryland 21740 - Phone: 240-420-4300 -