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Quarterly Newsletter
Always here for our community 
Services Update 
As the impacts of Covid-19 continue to develop and unfold in our nation and local community, Children's Cove has remained dedicated and operational in support of its mission. Our staff had been working from home since March 16th, however, have maintained communication to with the community, those we support, and members of our multi-disciplinary team. We quickly adapted our building to utilize our internal as well as updated encrypted online technology to increase social-distancing measures while conducting forensic interviews. We have ensured we had personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff members needed in the building with regular cleaning and sanitizing. With additional work and adaptations to our building and space, Children's Cove now can conduct forensic interviews where the child and interviewer are face to face on site at Children's Cove with proper PPE and social distancing precautions in place, and are able to incorporate our MDT members as observers remotely. 
With fantastic work from Stichology Sewing, we have face masks with clear windows so those who are deaf or hard of hearing can read lips can feel comfortable in communicating with our forensic interviewers. We have also ensured all precautions for our partners at the VNA of Cape Cod who provide interpreter services for members of the community we support who do not speak English as a first language. As our team begins to transition back to the office in limited capacity, we continue to find new ways to adapt and improve our services to provide a safe, supportive, child-friendly environment for those who come to the Cove to find hope and healing.
Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior 
Our Mental Health Coordinator, Kristine Monteiro, is participating in a Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB) - Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy training sponsored by the Massachusetts Children's Alliance and facilitated by the Treatment Program for Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior at the University of Oklahoma Sciences Center. This is one part of strategic planning that Children's Cove is completing to better address the needs of children with problematic sexual behavior. In the coming months, Children's Cove will also be developing a PSB Community Change Team made up of our various MDT partners to develop a comprehensive plan to better understand, treat, and support children with problematic sexual behavior and their families in partnership with schools and their local communities.  This fact sheet  from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network in partnership with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth is a great overview for parents and our partners who are attempting to better understand the needs of children with problematic sexual behavior. 
What We're Worried About
During times of stress and isolation, instances of abuse can increase. Additionally, individuals who have undisclosed trauma may be challenged by their trauma experience with a reduction of their natural supports. As business and organizations which support children begin to reopen, the reality is children who have been victims of abuse during stay-at-home orders may begin to disclose their abuse who adults who can help. Individuals who are mandated reporters in Massachusetts are required by law to report any reasonable suspicions of abuse. We also encourage members of our community who are concerned about the safety of children they know to report any reasonable suspicions of abuse.
The DCF Child at Risk Hotline is 800.792.5200 and the local Hyannis office is 508.760.0200. If a child discloses abuse, the first step is to remain calm and thank the child for telling someone. If you feel comfortable in getting more information in order to report ask minimal, but critical questions: What happened? When did it happen? Who was it with? Where did it happen? Have you told anyone else? It's best to stay away from why questions. If the child appears to be at immediate risk, contact your local law enforcement agency.
If you are a parent or caregiver and have learned that someone you care about has been abused, the most important first step is to stay calm. The child has undergone a potentially traumatic experience and could be more frightened by your response than the abuse itself. Be sure to thank the child for being honest and courageous enough to tell someone, then call Children's Cove, the Department of Children and Families, or your local police department. To learn more about signs of child abuse, or how to have the conversation about body safety, visit our website.

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Children's Cove  
The Cape and Islands Child Advocacy Center
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