CCOVE header
Providing Hope and Healing
High Quality Services, Now and for Tomorrow
Safety at Children's Cove
Over the past several months, the Children's Cove team has been actively working with our partners at the Yarmouth Police Department, with instruction and guidance from Deputy Chief Lennon, in updating all emergency response procedures. Numerous circumstances involving safety of our staff and the families we serve were considered, including active threat incidents, weather, fire, and health emergencies. We included building mapping to identify areas of strength and needed improvements to ensure the safest environment possible. Concurrently, as a department of Barnstable County Government, Children's Cove has been regularly updated on the regional impacts and response to COVID-19 here on the Cape & Islands. Utilizing this training, guidance from the Department of Health and Environment, and conversations with our partner agencies, Children's Cove has developed layers of planning and response for this situation as it unfolds.
As of Monday, March 16th, Children's Cove staff will be working remotely, until otherwise indicated. We have been working diligently to ensure all staff have a remote working plan to maintain confidential communication and coordination of services for families we serve. We have also been regularly communicating with our multi-disciplinary team and partners in the community for all aspects of our work, and have organized a response plan for emergency cases to ensure the best practice response to cases involving child sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, witness to domestic violence and commercial sexual exploitation.
As you know, we are all living and working in a quickly evolving situation with a focus on the health and safety of our community. And we are going to do our part to ensure it stays a safe community. 
Professional Development 
Ongoing education, training, and support for our team allows us to provide the highest quality supportive services to our community. So far this year several of our team members have been able to attend some incredible conferences to enhance our supportive services at Children's Cove. In January, Beth Mitchell, our CSEC Case Manager / Forensic Interviewer, and Debby Sorrentino, our PediSANE, were able to attend the Chadwick Conference in San Diego, California. The Chadwick Center, one of the largest hospital based child advocacy and trauma treatment centers in the nation, holds their annual conference for a week with a strong focus on enhancing the MDT response to crimes against, with international presenters bringing the latest evidence based information to the table. A heavy medical influence gives insight into the best treatment practices for child victims from a trauma informed, and medically advised, place.
In February, our Mental Health Coordinator, Kristine Monteiro, attended the National Symposium on Sexual Behavior of Youth, in Norman Oklahoma. One of the increased challenges faced across the county is the recognition and effective response to problematic sexual behavior in children. For too long, children were treated as adults, charged and prosecuted, for behaviors which could have been addressed through effective therapy and a trauma informed lens. With changes to Massachusetts law in how child initiators of problematic sexual behavior are addressed, Children's Cove is working with a number of mental and behavioral health providers to address these needs.
The team members attendance to these conferences and training were made possible through grant funding from the Massachusetts Children's Alliance, as well as the Office for Victims of Crime.
Why Advocacy Matters
After we support a child and their non-offending family members at Children's Cove, there often becomes a time where that parent/caregiver asks: "what's next?" Our Family Advocacy program is here to help answer those questions, to provide information or provide referrals to community resources and assistance. This could be as simple as a phone call to tell a family where to go or providing hands on assistance in completing an application for assistance. Our Family Advocate, Melanie Sachs, provides regular follow-up to each family to see if there are resources needed to provide the healthiest outcome for child victims and their non-offending family.
However, this simple explanation often leaves the full volume of work and support for families in the background. Recently, the video training was created by NRCAC in collaboration with Western Regional Children's Advocacy Center which highlights the importance of family / victim advocates, what advocates do for children and families, and the role of the advocate on the MDT. This video includes information and explanation of these services from our very own Melanie Sachs!

Role of the Victim Advocate
Role of the Victim Advocate

ChildrensCove divider line
Children's Cove  
The Cape and Islands Child Advocacy Center
Follow Us
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn

Connect with us online at