Phone: 507-637-1397 | Fax: 507-637-1379
Redwood County Courthouse
250 S Jefferson Street
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
Mission/History: The Redwood County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), is the only Children’s Advocacy Center in the Southwest Region. The Redwood County CAC was established by a local multidisciplinary partnership to respond better to child abuse allegations back in 2011 thanks to the operating support from the Otto Bremer Foundation. The Redwood County CAC was awarded the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs CAC expansion grant in 2015, to continue the accreditation process and hire a Coordinator to instrument National Children’s Alliance Standards to our daily function. In 2016, the CAC was awarded the Crime Victims Services grant for 5 years to continue developing and serving child abuse victims in the SW Region of Minnesota.
The Redwood County CAC prides itself on catering to the needs of victims with exceptional victim services and advocacy practices in the Southwest Minnesota Region. We aspire to be culturally inclusive and provide services to underserved rural populations.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach: The Redwood CAC is a great community resource for victims of child abuse and their families in the Southwest Region of Minnesota to receive comprehensive, child first services. This multidisciplinary team approach protects the vulnerability of the child, assures that their voice is heard and immediate mental health and medical services are provided.
Modeled off of the structure set forth by the National Children’s Advocacy Center, the MDT is designed to meet the needs of child victims and their families and to reduce the trauma associated with childhood abuse. Collaboration occurs at all stages of response, including investigations, prosecutions, needs assessments, and medical and therapeutic interventions.
What is a CAC
This video from the National Children’s Alliance gives a great overview of a CAC.
Minnesota Women’s Indigenous Society – (507) 627-4357
Safe and Strong Child Program
How important is prevention? In one instance, prior to programming, about one-third of kindergartners and first graders thought they should keep secrets about touches if an adult or older child told them to. The majority of children grades K-5 initially believed that if a child doesn’t say no or doesn’t tell about abuse, then the abuse is the child’s fault.
The Safe and Strong Child© Program, originally designed for the classroom, consists of cognitively appropriate classroom lessons that are taught interactively through stories, group work, role play and song. Children are taught to identify the difference between safe and unsafe touch. Children learn how to set and honor personal body boundaries. Through the Safe and Strong curriculum children learn that it is never a child’s fault if they get a touch that is unsafe. Portions of the curriculum also provide support and education to teachers and parents who can help to keep kids safe.
The three components of the program are as follows:
- Developmentally appropriate curriculum: The classroom presentations are designed to teach children about safe, confusing, and unsafe touch in a non-threatening environment. It helps them identify safe people to talk to and removes shame and isolation surrounding abuse. The presentations are interactive and children are encouraged to participate and ask questions.
- Professional teacher and staff training: The purpose of the teacher/staff training is to provide teachers and support staff with information on the content of classroom presentations and how the personal body safety concepts can be reinforced in the classroom and with children and families.
- Parent/Caregiver Meeting: The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the Safe and Strong Child© curriculum which will be presented in the classroom to parents or caregivers. Also discussed at this meeting are grooming/manipulation tactics used by perpetrators, age appropriate sexual behavior and how to respond to disclosures of abuse. The focus of this meeting is to address parent/caregiver concerns and to have an open conversation about body safety and the curriculum.
The Redwood County Children’s Advocacy Center staff is trained to offer this program for K-5 students.
Erin's Law Pledge
Erin’s Law requires that all public schools implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program which teaches students in grades PreK – 5, age appropriate techniques to recognize child sexual abuse and tell a trusted adult. The Redwood County Children’s Advocacy Center has taken the initiative to ask all Redwood County schools to take the pledge to offer this training annually starting with the 2019-2020 school year.