Healing Outreach Prevention & Education

Children who have been abused need a friendly, non-threatening place to disclose their painful stories. They need caring adults who will protect, reassure and advocate for them. Kids’ HOPE Center is that kind of place, with that kind of people.

Following the “medical model” of abuse investigations, Kids’ HOPE focuses primarily on meeting the whole health physical and emotional needs of victims. A child visiting Kids’ HOPE Center experiences initially a single interview with a specially trained forensic interviewer. Video recordings of these neutral, non-leading interviews take the place of repeated questioning and can even be admitted in court.

A board certified pediatrician, Dr. Jenni DeLeon, examines child victims to assess their condition and throughout the process, children are treated with respect, gentleness, and reassurance. Although the “medical model” of investigation focuses on the child’s physical and emotional needs, it also has proved to be an effective technique for gathering evidence to be used in criminal cases.

Bay Area Hospital is proud to provide administrative and accounting support for Kids’ HOPE Center, which is essential work on behalf of the community’s children.

Child's hands inside of adult's hands

About Kids' HOPE

Vision: To create a community where no child experiences neglect or abuse.

Mission: Kids’ HOPE Center exists to reduce child abuse through community awareness, intervention, and to provide supports for healing and victim justice.

Purpose Statement: Kids’ HOPE Center supports families and child abuse victims through the provision of an all-inclusive Center where forensic child interviews and medical examinations take place, and guardians and victims are offered support navigating through the challenging legal prosecution system. Intervention and advocacy services are provided to families through referrals and follow-ups with partnering community agencies, initiated by Kids’ HOPE Center staff.

The Children We Serve
Kids’ HOPE Center serves the Coos County community at large — nearly 1,600 square miles stretching from Tenmile Lake to Bandon’s cranberry bogs. We serve families from all socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. We provide education and advocacy to any community member without discrimination.
Direct services are provided to children as young as 3 years old and as old as 18. Kids’ HOPE Center is also frequently asked to help with cases involving Spanish only speaking children and families, as well as developmentally or cognitively disabled adults, in which a child-friendly approach may yield less trauma for the individual and an improved outcome for the criminal case.

What to Expect

When coming to Kids’ HOPE Center we hope the following information helps prepare you and your child to have a comfortable experience and a positive outcome:

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the medical examination process

Let your child know about the appointment in advance. Your child may or may not understand the purpose of this meeting. Assure your child that you’re going to a safe place, where new friends want to talk with the child and make sure the child is healthy and safe. You can tell your child the appointment will include no shots or pain.

When you arrive at the center, our friendly team members will introduce themselves to you and your child, briefly explaining the appointment process. You’ll need to sign a consent form. A Kids’ HOPE Center advocate will help you fill out paperwork, including a social and medical history, and answer any questions you have.

After that, you will remain in the waiting area while your child is interviewed by our forensic specialist. We’re happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have about this interview. Our goal is to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible for you and your child. Your child can stop the interview at any time and won’t be forced to answer unwanted questions.

A trained professional will ask your child non-leading, non-threatening questions following the Oregon Child Forensic Interviewing Guidelines. Other team members, such as law enforcement and child welfare professionals, will monitor the interview from a different room. Only one person will ask your child questions. The interview is recorded.

Program interviewers have experience talking with children of all ages. They will adapt the interview to your child’s specific emotional, developmental, and behavioral needs. Your child will never be forced to talk if he or she is not comfortable. The interview can be stopped at any time if the child wishes to not continue.

Depending on details of the case and what your child discloses, your child may be referred for a medical appointment. A pediatrician will explain the exam so your child will know what to expect.

Your child will be given choices throughout the exam, with the encouragement to ask questions about it. Children are looked at from head to toe, but we never force children to participate in any part of the exam that they choose not to.

You will be invited to speak with the evaluation team before leaving. The team members will explain what they learned during the interview and/or physical evaluation. You will be given the opportunity to ask questions and express concerns. Reports from the medical evaluation and the forensic interview will be sent to the approved community professionals involved in your child’s case. With permission, we may refer you to see your child’s medical provider and also make recommendations for therapy.

Our services are always offered at no cost to you and your family. Your insurance may be billed to help offset medical costs, but these expenses will not be billed to you.

Kids’ HOPE Center is part of a multidisciplinary team of agencies and care providers in Coos County. Families will receive referrals to community agencies that offer therapy and support. We understand that when a child has experienced abuse, the family involved must also cope with what has happened. If your family needs shelter, food, or therapy, we encourage you to share this information with the assigned family advocate, so that we can help direct you to the appropriate resources.

Whether a child abuse investigation leads to prosecution depends on details of the individual case. Whenever a child abuse case has a potential criminal component, local law enforcement refers the case to the county District Attorney’s Office, which decides whether the case should be prosecuted or dismissed.

Open-ended, non-leading questions are asked during the forensic interview of your child. For that reason, recordings of the interview may be used as evidence in court, along with any information gleaned from medical assessment of the child.

The legal process differs according to the details of each individual case. The Kids’ HOPE Center team and our community partners will work hard to help prepare you and your child for what to expect concerning your specific case.

Advocacy

A victim advocate is present to support children and their non-offending family members through the duration of their visit at Kids’ HOPE Center. Advocates provide referrals to community agencies to meet a family’s physical, and mental health needs. Their goal is to cultivate a space which allows families to express concerns, ask questions, and navigate revolving emotions during this process. Advocates will maintain contact with a family even after they leave our center to ensure that they have ongoing support in their journey to healing.

Mental Health

The Kids’ HOPE Center is able to facilitate mental health triage should a family need services immediately while at the center. This service is provided by Kairos Coastline.

Meet Dr. DeLeon

Kids’ HOPE Center’s Medical Director is Jenni DeLeon, MD. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is employed by Bay Area Hospital.

Dr. DeLeon graduated from Harvard University in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. She completed her medical school training in 1997 at the University of Vermont, after which she served an internship and residency in pediatrics at University of Arizona in Tucson. She speaks fluent Spanish.

As the county’s Designated Medical Professional (DMP) under Karly’s Law, she reviews and oversees all Karly’s Law cases in Coos County. Because of her training and expertise, she is the medical resource for all physicians in Coos concerning child abuse issues and needs.

Dr. DeLeon

Preventing Abuse

What You Can Do

Don’t ever assume that your children are safe, even if they are being cared for by someone you know well. Approximately 90 percent of all child abuse cases involve offenders whom the child and/or the child’s family know and trust.

Do not expect children to protect themselves from abuse or to alert you about abuse. Children often are too scared or ashamed to tell an adult they’ve been hurt, even adults they trust. Many children are threatened or bribed by their abusers, and children feel shame for what has happened to them, believing it is their fault or that they “asked for it.”

Here are steps you can take to protect your children from abuse:

  • Listen, believe and trust what they tell you. Children rarely lie about being abused, and they often fear telling an adult about it.
  • Always let your children know that anything they tell you will not get them in trouble. If someone makes them feel unsafe, they should never be afraid of getting in trouble for telling you.
  • Know your child’s friends and everyone in the homes your child will visit before the child is ever alone with anyone. Never let your child into a home that you have not visited or be cared for by adults whom you have not met.
  • Have regular discussions with your children about abuse, their bodies, and their right to protect themselves by saying “no.” Don’t wait for them to bring it up.
  • Teach your child what is healthy and normal physical, emotional, and sexual behavior. Be open and honest. If you do not teach your child, someone else will.
  • Give your children specific, age-appropriate information on where bodies should or should not be touched. Let them know it’s never OK for someone to touch them, and it’s OK to tell if someone does.
  • Tell your children that they should socialize only with people with whom they feel safe. Encourage them to tell a trusted adult about anyone who makes them feel unsafe, scared or anxious, or who touches them in any way that they do not like. Make sure they know they will not get in trouble for telling an adult.
  • Tell your children that any touching that makes them uncomfortable is never OK, emphasizing that no touching should ever be kept a secret. Let them know that someone might try to trick them into thinking it is OK, but it is never OK for an adult to tell them to keep a secret. Let them know that if someone tells them to keep a secret that involves touching or abuse, that means the person is doing something bad, and they should tell another adult right away.
  • Learn about the sex education and child abuse prevention programs at your child’s school.
  • Learn more about our Educational classes
  • Watch for signs or symptoms of abuse, and ask questions. Do not wait until you have confirmed that there is a problem. Investigate concerns early.
  • Be cautious of anyone who wants to spend a lot of time alone with your child, even if you think you can trust that person.

The “Darkness to Light” program teaches local adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child abuse.  Learn more 

Child abuse can happen anywhere, to any child. The risk for abuse exists whenever a child has interactions with others. Abuse can manifest itself in many ways, and not all forms of child abuse leave visible or obvious signs. Visible or not, abuse can cause a lifelong impact on the child’s body and mind.

The primary types of child abuse are:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional
  • Neglect
  • Witnessing abuse or domestic violence
  • Drug exposure and endangerment
Sometimes child abuse can be so subtle that you may not see the physical signs, but other indicators are present : 
Unexplained injuries — Visible signs of physical abuse can include unexplained markings, bruising, or burns. Sometimes these markings occur in shapes that could resemble objects. You may be given unconvincing or inconsistent explanations.
Behavioral changes — An abused child may appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or aggressive.
Regression of behavior — Children who have been abused may display behaviors that you would expect at earlier ages, such as thumb sucking, bed wetting, fear of the dark, or fear of strangers. Some children may lose language skills or have memory problems.
Fear of going home or to a caregiver’s home — An abused child may express fear of leaving a place that is safe, such as school, to go where someone has been abusive.
Changes in eating — You may notice an unusual loss or gain of weight in the child.
Sleep pattern changes — Children may have nightmares. They may have difficulty falling asleep and appear tired throughout the day.
Changes at school — A child who has been abused may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences. Sometimes adults will keep the child home to hide suspicious injuries.
Lack of personal care or hygiene — A child being abused may not be properly cared for. The child’s clothes may be dirty or inappropriate for the weather. The child may be dirty and frequently uncovered, or have body odor not appropriate for the child’s expected developmental age.
Risky behaviors — Anger and frustration may lead an abused child to use drugs and alcohol or to carry a weapon.
Inappropriate sexual behaviors — Some sexually abused children demonstrate overly sexualized behavior or use inappropriate sexual language. They may not realize their behavior is inappropriate because this behavior is “normal” for them in their home.
All citizens have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. If you ever suspect abuse, please have the courage to report what you have seen or heard. The law protects members of the public who make good-faith reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.
Investigation of a report does not mean the child will be taken from home. It simply ensures that someone will confirm the child’s safety and health. You do not need to know names, addresses, and birthdays to make a report, although that information is helpful. If you see something suspicious or alarming involving a child, please call 1 (855) 503-7233, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). Please also contact local law enforcement.

Law enforcement

Department of Human Services (DHS)

County Mental Health Department

Child Abuse Hotlines

Mother with child

You Can Help

The community has a collective responsibility to help and protect our kids. The continued support of volunteers and sponsors like you allows Kids’ HOPE Center to continue doing the work we do. We appreciate anyone who is interested in volunteering or helping our organization thrive. Our support comes mostly from grants, donations, and public participation in fundraising events.

Be a Steward of our Children

Approximately half of the child abuse investigations in Coos County involve a sexual abuse component. In partnership with the Ford Family Foundation, Kids’ HOPE Center has set the goal of teaching 10 percent of all Coos, Curry and western Douglas County adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse cases.

Stewards of Children is a nationally acclaimed, evidence-based curriculum from the Darkness to Light organization. (Click here for an informative video.) Kids’ HOPE Center believes that through partnership and education, we can improve the lives of our community’s children.

This free training is recommended not only for individuals who work with children through their professions, but to any adult who feels responsible for protecting a child. Classes are offered the fourth Tuesday of every month, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at Kids’ HOPE Center.

Individualized private training also is available for businesses, parent groups, churches, and other organizations.

Please call Kids’ HOPE Center at (541) 266-8806 to reserve your individual spot in a monthly workshop, or to schedule a workshop for your group.

PIP Seal Orange 2017-2018

Kids’ HOPE Center is proud to be a Partner in Prevention. This designation is awarded by the nonprofit Darkness to Light. It’s a title only given to organization in which at least 90% of workers and volunteers have completed Stewards of Children training.

Kids’ HOPE Center also offers training classes about keeping kids safe online. This education is made possible through a collaborative program of the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the San Diego Police Foundation SafetyNet is about smart Cyber Choices and it’s mission is to make kids more safe through internet safety and awareness education for young kids, teens, educators, adults, and community leaders.  For more information or to set up a training, please contact Sarah Bright, Education Coordinator, Kids’ HOPE Center at 541.269.4196 or sarah.bright@bayareahospital.org.

Child holding a donations box

Volunteering and Supporting Kids’ HOPE

Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering or donating to the program. We have an active volunteer program as well as a successful history with student internships. To make a monetary donation please use the button below to make a secure online contribution.

Secure Donation Button[1]

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To volunteer, please contact:

Julie Marshall
Kids’ HOPE Center
1925 Thompson Road
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Direct Line: (541) 269-4192
Main Office Line: (541) 266-8806

To learn more about supporting the center, please contact:

Clay England
Chief Human Resources Officer
Kids’ HOPE Center
1925 Thompson Road
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Main Office Line: (541) 266-8806

Donations help the center provide best-practice services to child victims. Financial support is always appreciated.

We also need everyday items such as non-perishable, single-serving snacks, juice boxes, and new stuffed animals. Below is our current “Wish List” of items that are most beneficial:

  • Diapers
  • Tampons/Pads
  • Shampoo (kids and teen)
  • Toothbrushes (kids and teen)
  • Toothpaste (kids and teen)
  • New Socks (any age of kid boy and girl)
  • New Underwear (any age of kid boys and girl)
  • Bar soap
  • Hair brushes, and accessories for girls
  • Brand new Clothes for girls and boys ages 3 to 18
  • Healthy snacks and juice

For information about Kids’ HOPE’ Center’s current wish list, please call Kids’ HOPE Center at (541) 266-8806.

Kids' HOPE Center Staff