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CALICO is the children’s advocacy center for Alameda County.  CALICO helps children, families and adults with developmental disabilities when someone has reported abuse or trauma.  Our goal is to provide a friendly place for children and teenagers to talk about what happened.  CALICO also provides resources and support for parents and caregivers of children. 

Who Will My Child Talk To?

Your child will talk to a "Child Interview Specialist." This person has special training in talking to children about difficult subjects. The interview is child friendly. The interviewer will ask questions in a way that best meets your child's own needs.

Should I Talk To My Child About What Happened?

Between now and your appointment at CALICO, try to talk only about what happened if your child brings it up.  If they want to talk about it, listen to them without asking for lots of details. Be very careful to not ask questions that might make your child feel like you want or expect a specific answer (an example would be, “She had red hair, didn’t she?”).  Pay close attention to your words and actions.  Show concern and compassion for what your child says but do not react with shock, anger or relief. 

What Can I Do To Support My Child?

Let your child know you believe what he or she is telling you.  Tell your child that it is not his or her fault.  Let your child know he or she is safe. Make sure your child knows that he or she is not in trouble. Spend quality time with your child.  As much as possible, remain consistent in daily routines.

What Should I Tell My Child About Coming to CALICO?

“We are going to CALICO.  It’s a friendly place where kids go to talk.  They talk to lots of kids about what might have happened to them. It’s okay to tell them everything.”

What Will Happen After the Interview?

After your child is interviewed, someone from CALICO’s team will follow up with you about next steps to take.

I am very grateful for your expertise and the care with which you received my family and our specific needs. Thank you for treating our situation so gently. 

—Parent, Client Survey

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