What We Do


Our Mission is to nurture abused and neglected children through collaboration, advocacy, treatment, and prevention.

We are a child-oriented facility, which serves as a centralized location for interviewing and examining children who are victims of physical and sexual abuse.
Our main focus is the health and wellness of the child. Members of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) help the child and family cope with the abuse and begin the recovery process.

The Children's Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
 

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Reporting Abuse

 

If you suspect a child is being abused, it should be reported to Medina County Job and Family Services (MCJFS) at

330.661.0800.

 

If a child is in immediate danger, please call 911.

 

The longer abuse continues, the greater the potential for serious and long-term emotional and psychological difficulties are for the child. 





Oct 5, 2018
The following is from a parent of a special needs child who disclosed sexual abuse. It explains the importance of listening to our children. The Children’s Center of Medina County provides many resources and hope for families and children affected by sexual abuse. If a child discloses it is very important to remember the following:

Disclosure of sexual abuse means a child has chosen you as the person he or she trusts enough to tell. It is the moment when children learn whether others can be trusted to stand up for them.
 
DON’T OVERREACT
If a child breaks an arm or runs a high fever, you know to stay calm and where to seek help because you’ve mentally prepared yourself. Reacting to child sexual abuse is the same.
 
When you react to disclosure with anger or disbelief, the child will likely:
  • Feel even more ashamed and guilty.
  • Shut down.
  • Change or retract the story, when, in fact, abuse is actually occurring.
  • Change the story to match your questions so future telling’s appear to be “coached.” This can be very harmful if the case goes to court.
Very few reported incidents of child sexual abuse are false.
 
If you suspect child abuse or neglect please call the Child Abuse Hotline 330.661.0800 or call 911 if there is immediate danger.
 
As a parent, it is normal to worry about your child. As a parent of a child with special needs, your worrying becomes greater. You know how vulnerable your child is.

From a very young age, I have always been open with my children and I started telling them their bodies are their own and no one should ever touch them. More important, if they were ever touched, tell an adult immediately. This conversation occurred again and again in our household. I needed to make sure both my children knew how important this subject is. Especially for my child who has special needs.

Fast forward years later. I am giving my speech again but this time, my son, who has special needs, tells me that a family member has touched him, multiple times. A parent’s worst nightmare. My heart sank, my stomach turned and I had feelings no parent ever wants to know. I asked my husband to come in the room and had my son repeat what he told me. Words were crystal clear and exactly how he told me just minutes before. We asked our son when this happened, he said it had been going on for some time. Naturally, my next question was why did you tell us now? His answer “because he (the perpetrator) told me that I would be in big trouble if I ever told anyone.”

Later, I’m driving with my son in the car and he was becoming fidgety and anxious. He said to me “mommy, you protect me and my sister from the bad guys?” Little did I know where the conversation was going to lead, a bigger nightmare than the first time. Our son disclosed to me, information that was done to him, by the same individual. I couldn’t catch my breath and the tears wouldn’t stop falling. These were heinous, unthinkable things done to an innocent child. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry but I knew I had to be strong and I needed to get help.


I cannot emphasis the importance of listening to your children. Take time, talk to your children, educate them, let them know they can trust and tell you anything. Listen to your “gut” instinct. If something gives you a feeling that it isn’t right, then it probably isn’t. We are our children’s biggest advocates, it is our jobs to keep them safe and out of harms way. Children being sexually abused is a topic no one wants to talk about but, we have to! Especially, children who have special needs as they are more vulnerable. We have to be their voices and spread awareness to decrease the number of children who are abused annually. One voice can make a difference! 
Posted by Kristen Minichello on October 5, 2018 at 9:15 AM
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