MULTI-DISCIPINARY TEAM

Multi-Disciplinary Team Coordination Services
The core of any Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). At Wynona’s House, the multi-disciplinary team includes representatives from the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit (ECPO), the Newark Beth Israel Center’s Metro Regional Diagnostic Treatment Center (RDTC), Partnership for Children of Essex, CASA of Essex, and is facilitated by the Wynona’s House nonprofit intake and MDT coordinators

This team consists of social workers, law enforcement officials, detectives, county prosecutors, medical and mental health providers, victim advocates, and Wynona’s House nonprofit staff. Team members provide technical assistance, advice to each other both through formal means, such as case review meetings and informal conversations to support service delivery and one another as professionals. This heightened communication improves outcomes for each agency, and most importantly, for the children, ensuring that essential aspects of treatment are not missed.

The MDT (Multi -Disciplinary Team) Trauma Support Specialist has worked to transform Wynona’s House into a Trauma Informed Organization that is responsive to both direct trauma of victims and indirect vicarious trauma experienced by victim service providers to promote health, healing and wellbeing.

The MDT Trauma Support Specialist provides vicarious trauma services to front line responders, staff and partners who work with child victims and their non-offending caregivers to enable them to remain compassionate and engaged to best serve victim families while maintaining their own mental health.

The MDT Trauma Support Specialist also maintains the “Serenity Room”, a space for families to take refuge while in crisis and to help heal trauma and for staff to utilize to minimize the impact of vicarious trauma in direct service providers.

Additionally, the MDT Trauma Support specialist creates trauma reducing activities and provides education and support to the Wynona’s House community, partners and staff.

FAMILY ADVOCACY PROGRAM

The Wynona’s House Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is crucial to the success of child abuse investigations and to helping children and families receive comprehensive, compassionate and effective services. Our Family Advocates provides support and assistance to children and non-offending family members dealing with the multi-level trauma of child sexual and physical abuse.

Family Advocates educate non-offending families about the various roles of the Wynona’s House partners. Families learn how investigation, prosecution and treatment will proceed, and about the systems that are in place to help children and families. Family Advocates conduct needs assessments and connect families to supportive services for counseling, medical care, housing, employment, financial assistance, food, clothing and other basic needs. Family Advocates assist with safety planning, completion of Victims of Crime Office applications, immigration and educational issues and work with families throughout the process to ensure that healing continues after treatment.

The Domestic Violence Program at Wynona’s House Child Advocacy center is geared
toward connecting families to safe resources and regaining familial strength. We work toward these goals by participating in Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings to gauge where we can benefit the families most in their time of need, developing relationships and becoming a support system for those families affected by domestic violence, working with caregivers to develop safety plans, and serving as a liaison between the non-offending caregiver and community partners. We also follow up on referrals for mental health and medical treatment, to ensure our families are getting the assistant they require. We also assist in court support for families who may need support navigating the court systems. We can provide transportation for our families to help alleviate any stressors that may appear while our families are dealing with the trauma at-hand. All our practices are done in trauma informed practices, in order to make our families as comfortable as possible.

The Wynona’s House Human Trafficking Family Advocacy program is a program designed for abused children who are also victims of human trafficking, have been exposed to Child Pornography/Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), or who are victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).

The Human Trafficking program provides referrals for therapeutic services for child victims, psychoeducation regarding Human trafficking for families, conducts needs assessments for families and provides support as families navigate the child welfare and criminal justice systems.

Family Advocates assigned to the Human Trafficking Program work together with children and their non-offending caregivers to deliver trauma informed services, free of charge, that allows each family to address their trauma and to heal.

OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND PREVENTION

Family Advocacy Volunteer Initiative (FAVI) was launched in 2018 to build the organization’s capacity through a volunteer core. Family Advocate Volunteers (FAVs) play a vital role in supporting families and children who have experienced child abuse.

Family Advocate Volunteers will go through a rigorous training so that they are trained on topics of Dynamics of Abuse, Ethics, Special Education, Cyber-bullying and Vicarious trauma. Lastly, they will be supervised by the Coordinator, Thirjeet Matharu. You can reach out to her via phone (973) 753-1173 or tmatharu@wynonashouse.org.

The Healthcare Service Coordinator (HSC) identifies local, trauma informed, evidence-based service providers within the community for child victims of crime and their families. The HSC vets the organizations, negotiates and secures linkage agreements for Mental Health, medical, dental and vision providers and refers children to evidence- based programs to ensure that they receive the services they need to heal. The HSC maintains a resource directory for referrals and coordinates referrals to community therapy programs for youth experiencing problematic sexual behaviors.

The Family Advocacy Program also provides community education regarding child abuse and neglect and prevention to the community through in person trainings, presentations, workshops, social media campaigns and written informational materials.

To request a speaker or information, please contact Chief Program Officer Carol Berger at (973) 753-1165 or via email at receptionist@wynonashouse.org.