• The Child Protection Team at Kimberly’s Center provides expertise in evaluating alleged maltreatments of child abuse and neglect, assessing risk factors, and providing recommendations for interventions to protect children and enhance families’ capacities to provide a safer environment when possible.

    Some of the services provided by Kimberly’s Center following an allegation of child abuse or neglect include:

    • Forensic Interviews
    • Medical Examinations/Consultations
    • Child Advocacy
    • Crisis Intervention Counseling
    • Specialized Interviews/Social Assessments

    Howard Rogers, M.D., M.P.H. serves as the Medical Director for Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection. Child Protection Teams are a Florida Department of Health, Children’s Medical Services program. Dr. Rogers also serves as the Medical Director for the Children’s Emergency Department at Munroe Regional Medical Center.

    Child Abuse Pediatricians are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents who are suspected victims of any form of child maltreatment. This includes physical and sexual abuse, factitious illness (medical child abuse), neglect, and psychological/emotional abuse.

    Medical exams are available 24 hours, seven days a week to any child in need and are conducted in coordination with the investigative team in order to minimize trauma to the child while providing expert care.

  • Kimberly’s multidisciplinary approach to child abuse investigations is based on a national model which is specifically designed to prevent children from being further traumatized by the investigative process. Each child’s plan of care is specifically designed for them, and their families, with the goal of setting a course for a healthy future.

    Kimberly’s Center hosts weekly multidisciplinary staffing of cases which have been identified to Department of Children and Families or Law Enforcement during the preceding week.

    Multidisciplinary Team Partners: Department of Children and Families, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Ocala Police Department, State Attorney’s Office, Children’s Legal Services, Marion County Public Schools, Guardian Ad Litem, Kids Central, The Centers, and Children’s Medical Services.

  • Child and Family Therapy services at Kimberly’s Center are trauma-informed, evidence-based, and provided at no cost to the family/caregivers. The program is overseen by Clinical Director, Roberta “Robby” Lapp, LCSW.

    Trauma-informed means that the therapist is knowledgeable about the impact of traumatic experiences on children and focuses the therapy on helping the child to understand, cope with, and grow beyond their traumatic experiences.

    Evidence-based means that therapists at the Kimberly’s Center utilize therapy strategies that have been shown in research studies to be most effective in healing abused and traumatized children.

    Therapy specifically helps children (and parents) to:

    • Learn about trauma and child sexual abuse as well as healthy sexuality. Psycho-education is provided to children and their caregivers about the impact of trauma and common childhood reactions.
    • Develop effective coping and body safety skills. Parenting skills are provided to assist parents in managing children’s emotional and behavioral adjustment.
    • Overcome problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Relaxation and stress management skills for children and parents. Affective Expression and modulation are taught to help children and parents identify and cope with a range of emotions. Cognitive Coping and processing skills help children and parent’s link thoughts feelings and behaviors and modify inaccurate or unhelpful thoughts about the trauma
    • Therapeutically process traumatic memories which may include a trauma narrative: Personal description of the trauma event(s), in vivo mastery of trauma reminders helps children overcome their avoidance of situations that remind them of the trauma, conjoint child-parent sessions help the child and parent talk to each other about the child’s trauma
    • Enhancing future safety: addresses safety, prevention, development and additional skills to successfully end treatment

    Non-offending caregivers are intensively involved in the treatment of their children. It is understood that sexual abuse of a child can be very difficult for the adults in their lives; therefore our therapists also provide emotional support to caregivers through the process and periodically offers caregiver support groups. Additionally, Kimberly’s Center does provide individual therapy to adults; (Caring for Caregiver’s Program) at minimal cost based on sliding fee scale or treatment referrals to adult therapists in the community are provided to parents interested in individual therapy for themselves.

    Therapists at Kimberly’s Center have their Master’s degree and are licensed or license-eligible in the fields of Counseling, Clinical Social Work, or Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, we are a therapy training site for several local universities, including Webster University, St. Leo’s and University of Florida.