A large part of CALICO’s success in aiding abused children stems from multiple agencies working together to share information and decide the best approach for investigations. That effective collaboration helped 10-year-old Bailey and her family reach a positive resolution in the face of a horrible crime.
Bailey confided in her teacher that an older cousin who stayed with her family had been kissing and touching her when they were alone. The teacher reported the abuse to the school resource officer, who contacted children and family services. The child welfare worker and school resource officer determined that they should coordinate with a detective and set up an interview at CALICO as quickly as possible, since the suspect lived in Bailey’s home. The child welfare worker provided transportation for the family to CALICO, and the detective met them there. At CALICO, the family resource specialist comforted Bailey’s parents, who were appalled that a family member had harmed their little girl. At the same time, a child interview specialist met with Bailey and helped her share the details of her abuse, and the detective, child welfare worker and district attorney liaison watched the interview from the observation room.
After the interview, the detective arrested Bailey’s cousin. Using information Bailey provided in her interview, the detective was able to ask the suspect pointed questions, which led to a confession and eventually a jail term. The detective later remarked that the joint decision of the school resource officer and child welfare worker to bring Bailey to CALICO immediately after her disclosure was key to the investigation.
As for Bailey and her parents, CALICO’s family resource specialist provided them with referrals for counseling and other services. She also connected them with a victim advocate from the district attorney’s office, who helped them through the court process. Thanks to the strong teamwork, Bailey is now safe from further harm, and she and her parents have the support to move forward.