Protect All Children Today Inc. (PACT) is a non profit community organisation established in 1984 as a service provider of child witness support and therapy as well as advocating for abused and neglected children/young people and their families.
The PACT mission is to enhance child protection by reducing the trauma experienced by children and young people (3 - 17 years) who are required to give evidence within the criminal justice system as victims or witnesses.
The Child Witness Support Program provides support for children and young people who are required to give evidence in criminal courts, either as victims of, or witnesses to a crime.
Child Witness Support Volunteers:
* Provide information to the child/young person and his/her caregiver(s) about court proceedings;
* Prepare the child/young person for the court process;
* Visit the CCTV/court room with the child/young person prior to the court hearing;
* Support and reassure the child/young person during his/her waiting time in the court building;
* Accompany the child/young person whilst they give evidence;
* Maintain appropriate contact with the child/young person and his/her caregiver(s) until they have given evidence; and
* Liaise with a broad range of individuals (community, legal professionals, police and government).
PACT provides a counselling service to assist client children/young people and their non-offending family members to deal with stress and trauma related to the incident(s) of abuse, and/or involvement in the Criminal Justice System.
* Therapy focuses on the effects of abuse and does not include discussion of a child/young person's evidence while they are involved in the court process.
* Therapy may be accessed up to 12 months after the completion of court.
* Therapy is available in Brisbane and other regional centres throughout QLD.
Referrals for PACT services are generally received from the Officers of the Queensland Police Service or the Department of Public Prosecutions. However, teachers, community organisations and families may also refer children, with the family's consent. Once the referral is received, the PACT Volunteer Coordinator allocates the case to a specific Child Witness Support Volunteer, based on the geographical location of the child and court. The Volunteer then contacts the family to arrange for a home visit to provide details of the court process and what is likely to happen when the child is required to give evidence. The PACT Volunteer also accompanies the child whilst they give their pre recorded evidence.