Heartford House sees increase in forensic interview

The non-profit has seen almost 200 more children in 2018 compared to 2017.

Posted: Dec 29, 2018 9:01 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2018 9:23 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Heartford House in Lafayette is seeing more and more children for interviews.

The non-profit is a place that conducts interviews with children who may be victims of sexual or domestic violence. Recently they have grown to help in cases where kids are witnesses or victims of crimes. 

They provide a safe, secure, and private place for forensic interviewers to learn more about what kids may have experienced.

"We do everything we can," said Jen Buschore-Barry, Executive Director of Heartford House. "How can we help them to feel comfortable and how can we help them feel comfortable talking about anything they might need to?"

As of mid-December Heartford House had conducted more than 800 interviews in 2018. In all of 2017, they only conducted 685 interviews.

Heartford house has two comfortable rooms where the interviews take place. They have lots of toys, crayons, and coloring books to help keep kids who come through their doors at ease.

Buschore-Barry said it's not that this is a growing problem, it's that Heartford House has grown to a place where it's finally able to meet the needs of the community.

"I think that the counties that we serve, they are trusting us to do the work that we do and so we are seeing an increase from those counties," she said.

Heartford House has a seven-county region that it serves. They moved to a new location with more room and have grown their staff, which has helped them to be able to address more children in need.

Buschore-Barry said they are always looking to the community for support. They are always looking for monetary donations, but people can also shop for them off their Amazon wishlist. She said they are in need of crayons and coloring books, which they often will give out to children to keep as they go through other processes of the investigation.

Find more information on how to donate on their website.

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