Four years ago, Jan Scully Royse, Sacramento County’s District Attorney at the time, convened 124 community stakeholders to craft a strategic plan creating a center where victims could come, tell their story just one time, and be “wrapped around” with services to help them move from a place of victimization to one of strength and vibrancy. The model they chose to implement was created by the Family Justice Center Alliance headquartered in San Diego. Though the energy and commitment were high, the leadership team encountered some challenges along the way – most significantly finding a location. Thanks to the County of Sacramento, two locations were finally secured and the SRFJC vision and dream began to materialize.
Our Recent Past
SRFJC’s legal clinic quietly opened its doors on July 11, 2016 in Room 112 of the Family Court House at 3341 Power Inn Road, Sacramento. The SRFJC is not associated with the Court, though the location is highly beneficial for the clients we serve. Before making a public opening announcement, the intention was to start very slowly, ensuring that our house was in order and any kinks had been worked out. To our surprise, we were immediately flooded with clients seeking temporary restraining orders for domestic violence and elder abuse.
Our current staff included a Chief Executive Officer, a Director of Legal Services, and three additional attorneys; a Director of Client Services, two caseworkers, a bi-lingual Outreach Coordinator, and a host of interns and volunteers.
Our 9,000 sq. ft. space across the street at 3701 Power Inn Road is under construction, and we will open our doors there in October 2017. At that point, our large space will allow us to co-locate a number of our partners, including WEAVE, My Sister’s House, A Community for Peace, Deaf Safe, the Department of Human Assistance, Child Support Services, detectives from the Sacramento Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department, and an attorney from the District Attorney’s office. We will have a child care space as well as counseling rooms.
The Special Assault Forensic Evaluation (SAFE) Center will also co-locate to the new SRFJC offices. The SAFE Center assists children and dependent adults, victims of sexual or physical abuse, or witnesses to violent crimes including domestic violence or homicide. The purpose of SAFE Center’s is to reduce the number of interviews and people who talk to the alleged victim as well as provide a welcoming, child-friendly atmosphere for interviews to take place. The interview is conducted by forensic interview specialists who are social workers with special training and experience in talking to children about difficult subjects. The interview is recorded; however, information from the interview is shared only with those who are involved in the investigation.