Ralston House Child Advocacy Center works with law enforcement, human services and the community to provide a safe place to investigate child abuse and ensure victim services for children who have been physically or sexually abused or who have witnessed violence. Ralston House also provides education and outreach to prevent child abuse. Our mission is to stop the abuse and start the healing.
Ralston House was developed in 1990 to assist in the investigative process of child sexual abuse cases. It was founded through the Arvada Police Department to provide a child-friendly, safe and neutral environment where police detectives, social workers, mental health and medical professionals could talk with children and their families in surroundings that would lessen the anxiety of a child who had been assaulted. Children and teens who have been sexually or physically abused can tell their stories, undergo a comprehensive medical exam and receive victim support services in a safe, respectful environment as they begin to heal from the trauma they have experienced without being re-traumatized in the process. It was the first child advocacy center in Jefferson County and the second in Colorado. It is the only child advocacy center in Jefferson County (two locations - Arvada and Lakewood) and Adams/Broomfield Counties (one location - Northglenn). Ralston House is the only non-hospital center in the 1st and 17th Judicial Districts providing pediatric forensic medical sexual assault exams. In early 2009, a second site was opened in Lakewood to better meet the ever-increasing need for services and provide more convenient access for investigators and families in central south Jefferson County. A third site was opened in May 2014 in Northglenn for better access to investigators and families from Adams and Broomfield Counties. Ralston House now also works with the District Attorney's Office in the 1st Judicial District and the FBI to interview teens who have been trafficked or who are at high risk for being trafficked. Staff serve on the Colorado Human Trafficking Council. Satisfaction surveys completed by parents, children teens and investigative agencies consistently rate services as excellent or above average. Services are free of charge to all victim families and professionals.
"I like this place. It feels like home." - a child expresses what many children say to us. They feel safe here.
From a parent whose child was interviewed at Ralston House: I thought it was a welcoming environment and much better than my daughter being questioned at a police station."
From another parent: "As soon as we walked in we felt the comfort in this home. I don't call it a house because in a house there's no comfort but in a home there is."
From Don Wick, Former Chief of Police, Arvada Police Department:
"Ralston House provides services to all law enforcement and human service organizations in Jefferson and Gilpin Counties, and throughout the Denver metropolitan area . . . The Ralston House staff is exceptional, and the entire organization's reputation is well known throughout the metropolitan area . . . Because of the reputation of the Executive Director Don Moseley and his staff, the Ralston House is viewed as a high performing and professional non-profit organization that deserves funding . . . Over the years Ralston House has proven to be a priceless resource to professionals, victims, and their families."
From Scott Storey, Former District Attorney, First Judicial District:
"The criminal justice system can be intimidating and confusing to victims in general. Child victims are particularly vulnerable and can easily be retraumatized by the system. The child friendly facility at the advocacy center (Ralston House) enables a criminal investigation to be conducted in a non-threatening manner. The addition of an experienced and proficient forensic interviewer improves the quality of investigations and produces successful prosecutions . . . the services and resources that Ralston House provides is leaps and bounds ahead so that we can not only do our jobs as prosecutors better and keep the community safe from predators that would victimize children, but also to begin the healing process much faster."
From Len Green, Former Board President:
Ralston House is truly a special place. My work with Ralston House started over four years ago and each day reminds me how fortunate we are to have a place where abused children can go that enables them to feel safe and begin the road to recovery.
The Ralston House Team is fully dedicated to serving children and assisting law enforcement despite the horrific situations to which these children have been exposed. The excellent quality of service is evidenced by feedback received daily on written client surveys as well as letters we receive complimenting Ralston House's staff on the work they do.
Ralston House's work is not easy. Our goal is to provide a safe place for children to go where they can safely tell their story and not be re-traumatized in the process. This abuse might be sexual or violent in nature. The Ralston House Team works hand in hand with law enforcement to investigate this abuse and also provide ongoing services to the children and potentially their families. The Ralston House Mission is simple . . . STOP the ABUSE and START the HEALING!!!
The Ralston House Team is fully supported by a dedicated and multi-talented Board of Directors from the community we serve. Our dedicated Board consists of members of law enforcement, physicians, and numerous business and community associates. The Board is focused on ensuring Ralston House remains fiscally sound, abides by the established rules of governance, continues to raise funds to support the ongoing expenses of Ralston House as well as support the staff in the fight to Stop the Abuse and Start the Healing.
I am proud to support such a wonderful, caring organization and know the whole Board feels the same. We, along with the communities we serve, are making a difference in kids . . . kids that have been abused.
From children who have received interviews and medical exams:
"I really like this place because it is a very comfortable place to be and I felt very safe."
"I felt comfortable here because I got to tell them what happened to me."
"This place is so nice. I wish I could stay here and live with you."
From Jeannie Ritter, former First Lady of Colorado and Ralston House Honorary Board Member:
"Ralston House is the first step to recovery . . . there is a healing that can take place. There's a hope. If this isn't taken care of, we know what happens to this population . . . coming in at the appropriate time has a powerful impact. It's not just about prosecution here . . . Children and teens who have been assaulted need our help to make sense of everything that has happened to them. At Ralston House there is hope and healing in the midst of tragedy."