Working with child sexual abuse/assault (CSA) victims and their nonoffending parents/caregivers/families can present a unique dynamic for Community Sexual Assault Programs (CSAPs) and advocates. What does confidentiality look like for a 10-year-old or a 15-year-old? What decisions can children or teens make for themselves? Who is my client, the child or the parent? Why is the child going through a medical assessment when the last abuse was three months ago? Why does the parent act like this is no big deal? Do we need a separate advocate for the parent? There is so much more to consider when the victim is a child or teen.
Some CSAPs have been working with CSA victims for a while and see several children a day. Other CSAPs may only work with six children and families a year. All agencies should have working relationships with their county child abuse protocol multidisciplinary teams.
While this guide cannot address every level of CSAP work with kids, or every possible scenario, it does provide a solid foundation for advocates working with this population.