Mission - To empower the community to protect and advocate for the well-being of children and families.
Purpose - Heartford House exists to provide a neutral, child-friendly, home-like environment where a single, comprehensive investigative interview can take place with alleged child abuse victims. The center aims to reduce the trauma to the child, while improving the quality of evidence gathered to quickly and efficiently resolve these cases through the use of a multi-disciplinary team and specially trained interviewers.
Department of Child Services
Indiana State Police
Lafayette Police Department
Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office
Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office
West Lafayette Police Department
When a report of child abuse was made in the past, the alleged victim would go through a rather lengthy and stressful interview process. The child would be passed from agency to agency, repeating his or her account of the incident. In 1998, members of the Tippecanoe Child Abuse Prevention Council (TCAP) realized there is a better and safer way for children to tell their stories. TCAP worked with a multidisciplinary team of local law enforcement agencies, prosecutor's office, child protective services, mental health and medical professionals to establish Heartford House. Since 2000, there have been over 3500 children interviewed at Heartford House. Those who interview children here are trained. A protocol is agreed upon each year by all members of the multi-disciplinary team so that children are not revictimized by the system.
Heartford House is an Associate Member of the National Children’s Alliance and Member of the Indiana Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. All members of the MDT are trained in child forensic interviewing techniques using the RATAC protocol.