The Children’s SAFE Place is a child advocacy center. As part of its dedication to improve the lives of Indian families, Wiconi Wawokiya developed one of the first Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) in Indian Country. Knowing that children of abused women may also be victims of physical or sexual abuse, the staff sought support to provide a child-friendly center where Indian children can come for the forensic medical examinations and interviews can be conducted for the investigation of crimes involving the child as a victim or a witness. A forensic medical specialist conducts medical evaluation of suspected child abuse.
In addition, tribal and federal investigators come to The Children’s SAFE Place to talk with children and their families in a child-centered and culturally specific setting that promotes safety and healing for these victims. Wiconi Wawokiya has telemedicine equipment available to allow the medical examiner to consult with other physicians about forensic medical evidence without taking the child away from the community.
The Children’s SAFE Place team will provide a multidisciplinary, cooperative team approach to address the needs of children subjected to violence as victims or as witnesses and their non-offending family members. The team will operate out of the Children’s SAFE Place Advocacy Center that will provide a safe, caring, homelike atmosphere that will coordinate and enhance the investigation and case tracking of child abuse in Fort Thompson and the surrounding areas.