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Kids in Court

If you know a child who has been a victim or witness to a crime and might testify in court, please refer them to our Kids in Court Program.

Testifying in court does not have to be a terrible experience. When prepared, some children begin a        healing process by testifying.

Going to court is seen by many adults as an intimidating experience. When the witness is a child, we assume the experience will be traumatic. Children often feel they are to blame, that they are on trial themselves or that they are the guilty ones. Many times children and their families feel they are being drawn into complicated legal proceedings that seem confusing and at times hostile.

Children are credible witnesses and deserve to be treated with the respect to which they are entitled. Due to their limited years, children require education and special support prior to giving testimony. The preparation is not to help them remember what happened, but how to be able to communicate their experience and knowledge from the witness stand.

What is the Kids in Court Program?

Kids in Court is a program designed to prepare children for the court experience. Trained advocates provide education and support to children and their families as they anticipate going to court to testify.

Many times children do not know court terminology such as "prosecutor," "defense attorney," "sequestration oath."

Children are shown the courthouse and given a "hands on tour" of an actual court room. They are able to see, touch and experience a new and strange environment.

Children learn their job in court is to Tell the Truth.

Helping Children Successfully Testify in Court

Many children testify in court and wish they did not have to do it. On the day they testify, the child’s advocate, or "court room friend," is with them every step of the way.

* Some children actually benefit from having their day in court.

* Specially trained advocates are available to be with a child through every step of the process.

* A Kids In Court advocate will educate the child about court, thus reducing their fear of the unknown.

* Prepared children are better able to handle the stress and strain of going to court.

* Children are able to explore and conquer their fears before they take the witness stand.

* Children can be shown how to manage their nervous feelings and reduce their anxiety while testifying.

* Kids in Court advocates can be there to help children and their families understand the court system, which can seem confusing and frightening.

* A child preparing to testify needs all the support they can get. The Kids in Court program has trained advocates to provide that support.

The day after she testified, a 14-year-old young lady purchased a thank you card with her baby sitting money. She wrote.."Thank you so much for being there and helping me out!"

From the parents of a small child:

"We would like to thank you for the support and preparation your advocate gave our family when our daughter had to testify in a criminal trial. You helped turn a scary situation into a healing experience."