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Your Appointment

COVID-19 UPDATE: March 16, 2020

To our families and partners,

As health care providers, we are dedicated to providing the best possible care for every family. As you are aware, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other public health agencies are responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness, called COVID-19 caused by a novel (new) Coronavirus. The Children’s Center is carefully monitoring the rapidly evolving information around the COVID-19 outbreak. As it begins to have an increased impact on our communities, the staff at Children’s Center would like to share information with you about the steps we are taking to help keep you, our employees, and our communities safe and healthy.

PRECAUTIONS WE ARE TAKING
It is critical to us that we keep our patients, staff, and community members as healthy as possible so that our clinic can continue to conduct its essential services of child abuse assessments. The following outlines the precautions we are taking to maintain a safe working environment for everyone.

  • We are limiting the number of visitors to Children’s Center in an effort to maintain the social distancing that all of us are being asked to do. This means that workshops, meetings over ten people, and non-essential employees will have limited access and/or in-person presence in the office.
  • Already, our office is thoroughly sanitized and cleaned twice per week, and each exam room and waiting room is sanitized after every appointment, which includes a deep clean of any toys or books. We are also asking our staff to sanitize their workspace by using a bleach/water disinfecting solution multiple times throughout the day. Our workspaces are not shared by more than one employee.
  • We are using signs posted around the office to promote regular hand washing. We are also ensuring that tissue is available throughout the office to prevent the spread of germs through sneezing and runny noses.
  • We are asking that all employees who are not essential to assessments work from home and/or through conference calling whenever possible. Each day, we are evaluating whether to move our meetings to calls rather than meeting in-person, and those decisions are made based on the content of the gathering.
  • We are limiting all person-to-person contact, including handshakes. Any contact will be specific to what is required for a medical exam.
  • We are committed to continuing to support children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health if our other services have limited in-person capacity. To this end, our Therapy Program team is determining whether their services can be provided through telehealth channels.

PREPARING FOR AN APPOINTMENT WITH OUR ASSESSMENT TEAM

  • We are here to answer any questions you may have when scheduling an appointment for your child. If you have concerns about COVID-19, please discuss them with our intake staff when scheduling. We will try our best to answer any questions and explain the precautions we’re taking to keep you and your child safe while at the Center.

When you first arrive at the Center, our front desk staff will ask you a series of screening questions before your appointment begins. This will include asking about whether your child or any member of your household has had a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or difficulty breathing. Individuals who have had fevers will need to reschedule their appointment once they have been fever free for 24 hours. If your child or a member of your household has had any of these symptoms, please call us before coming to the clinic.

While you’re at the Center, a member of our staff may ask that you wear a face mask to limit the transmission of any illness. Please follow all instructions our employees give.

Our utmost concern is the safety and wellbeing of children and families. We are mindful of the added stress on families who have to manage school closures, missed workdays, and fear of family members becoming sick. We want to assure the community we intend to continue to provide access to our medical assessment services as much as possible. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidelines of public health officials. We will send you updates of any changes in our service delivery. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Rebecca Nickels, Interim Executive Director, at rebecca@childrenscenter.cc or 503-210-2440.

Children are referred to Children’s Center by law enforcement agencies, child protective workers, parents, teachers, health care providers, therapists, and others concerned for their welfare.

As a private, non-profit child abuse intervention center, we offer neutral, child-centered abuse and neglect evaluations. The Center works collaboratively as a partner on the Clackamas County Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) with local agencies responsible for intervening when there is concern for child maltreatment.

As the Designated Medical Professional (DMP) for Clackamas County, our primary goal is to provide children and adolescents with comprehensive child abuse assessments in a trauma-informed and child-centered environment. Our team can also connect caregivers and children with services to help keep families healthy, happy, and safe.

Serving All of Clackamas County

Children’s Center provides a welcoming, safe and neutral setting for children to share their experiences of abuse. While protective and loving families expedite a child’s recovery from the trauma of abuse, caregivers may not know how to best support their children and how to prevent future abuse.

Below is a brief guide for what you as a caregiver and your child can expect during your appointment. If you have any questions or concerns about the assessment, please call (503) 655-7725 to speak with one of our Intake Specialists.

Intake

Often, the first contact a family has with Children’s Center is with our Intake Specialists, who work with families and professionals in the community to gather relevant information to ensure a thorough child abuse assessment. Intake Specialists can explain every step of the assessment and answer questions, so that children and families know what to expect when they walk through our doors.

When You Arrive

Please bring your completed paperwork to review with our evaluation team. Paperwork may be mailed or emailed to you. Please bring an insurance card with you at the time of your appointment, if you have one. While medical insurance reimbursements and government funds (including the Oregon Crime Victim’s Compensation Program) account for approximately 60% of our funding, the remaining costs associated with medically assessing and supporting children who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect are covered by generous community members. Families are never billed for services at Children’s Center.

During the Assessment

Our private waiting rooms are designed to be comfortable and welcoming – spaces where families can be together, and where children can relax while they read, watch movies, play or draw while awaiting their appointment. Our goal is to help you and your family feel as comfortable as possible throughout your visit.

Meeting the Team

Our evaluation team consists of a medical provider, forensic interviewer, and a family support specialist. The team will meet with you as a caregiver in order to gather medical and social history for your child and family.

Medical Exam

Children are offered a comprehensive head-to-toe exam aimed at evaluating a child’s health and wellbeing. Medical providers may also perform or order testing for the child, such as urine testing, hair testing, or x-rays. Children are in control of their assessment, and we encourage the child to feel empowered to make their own decisions.

Child-Friendly Interview

Specially trained forensic interviewers provide developmentally-appropriate interviews for children in a safe and neutral environment. The interviews are digitally recorded and are often observed by child protective services and law enforcement. This process minimizes the trauma of duplicative interviews for children.

Family Support

Our family support team can help you understand how this experience will impact your child and what you as a caregiver can do to help your child cope and recover. The Family Support Specialists are Master’s level clinicians who offer emotional support, education and referrals to additional resources in the community for ongoing services.

Recommendations

After the medical exam and interview, the clinical team uses the information gathered during the evaluation to state findings and guide recommendations for caregivers and partner agencies.

The Healing Process

Your Family Support Specialist will continue to support your family’s needs and can connect you with counseling, domestic violence resources, early intervention, and other services to help your family begin the healing process.