Forensic Interviews

Before Children’s Advocacy Centers existed, abused children were shuffled all over town to talk to several different people about what happened to them. They would have to tell their story over and over again, which was very traumatizing. The investigation process would often cause them to shut down or recant (take back their disclosure) to make it all go away.

Harmony Home has Forensic Interviewers who are specially trained to talk to children who have been sexually or physically abused or neglected, and who have witnessed a violent crime. Each interview is conducted using a narrative, non-leading approach in a neutral environment where children feel at ease. The process is recorded and made accessible to investigating officials directly involved in the case, which eliminates the need for the child to repeat his or her story multiple times. 

Our Forensic Interviewers are trained to use established protocol during to ensure the outcome of the case is in the child's best interest. We currently have two certified interviewers on staff, one of which is bilingual (Spanish).

Services

Our center serves children from Ector County and 14 surrounding counties who are between the ages of 3 and 17. All of our services are offered free of charge to the victim and his/her non-offending caregivers We do our best to meet each client's needs either here at the center or with the help of our partnering agencies.


Primary services include: 

Harmony Home fully supports the ultimate mission of Darkness to Light: to end childhood sexual abuse.D2L's Stewards of Children curriculum teaches the community how to prevent, recognize, and react to child sexual abuse. According to their research, every 1 adult trained will help protect 10 children. Learn the facts, talk about it, and take a stand. We cannot do it without you. 

Community Education and Outreach

Harmony Home coordinates training for parents and childcare professionals to teach parents and children the dynamics of child abuse. The Prevention Specialist focus's on prevention of child sexual abuse training Stewards of Children. The Community Resource Director ​works with the staff and Board of Directors to promote, advocate, and raise awareness through fundraising, special events, and community health fairs. 

We encourage volunteer participation through the Texas Scholar Program, Volunteers in Public Schools, Students in Philanthropy. and various other organizations. We are actively committed to building a strong relationship with the city of Odessa and its surrounding communities. Harmony Home welcomes any opportunities to educate and raise awareness about the devastating effects of child abuse and neglect.

Therapy

Harmony Home offers therapy services to the child victims of abuse, the non-offending parent or caretaker and siblings of the victim. Therapy can be individual or family counseling. Children participate in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Therapy can be immediate, short-term such as crisis counseling, or long-term depending on the needs of the individual. The therapists at Harmony Home are Master's Level Licensed Professional Counselors with years of experience working with children and specialized training in the area of child abuse.

Individual Therapy or Cognitive/Talk Therapy:
This is traditional "talk therapy" which is used with older children and adults to explore the thoughts and emotions that are associated with abuse issues. Talk therapy consists of educational, learning, and emotional components that help teach clients about the dynamics of sexual abuse. 


Victim Services

The Victim Services Coordinator acts as the primary support and liason for children and non-offending family members. Clients are assisted in obtaining needed resources from Harmony Home and other community agencies. The coordinator provides families with information regarding social services, law enforcement, and the judicial systems, explaining how each affects them. Additionally, caregivers are provided with a Crime Victim's Compensation application when needed. Our Victim Services Coordinator acts in the child's best interest and encourages others to do the same.