The Dolphin House

A nonprofit organization

The Dolphin House serves child abuse victims from all of the counties of the 7th Judicial District. In 2021, we served 288 primary victims of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, witness to violence and drug endangerment. The Dolphin House provides forensic interviews, SAFE/SANE exams to victims of sexual and physical abuse, mental health services, referrals to community partners and follow-up services for nearly 70 families monthly.


“We recognize that the criminal justice process often can be a traumatizing experience for crime victims, especially for our children.  The Montrose Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies utilize the Dolphin House in an attempt to reduce the trauma and revictimization that is caused by the investigative process.  The Dolphin House provides support services to children and their families within a warm and comfortable, kid friendly environment that has proven to lower anxiety, while increasing trust.  Apple and I are strong supporters of the Dolphin House and the compassion and care that they provide to the crime victims we serve.  Thank you to the Dolphin House Staff for all their efforts and support they provide to our community.” Chantelle Bainbridge, Montrose Police Department Victims Advocate.

"The Dolphin House is vital to our victims and their families. Victims are supported by the same person from the minute they walk through the doors of the Dolphin House until their case is completed. The Dolphin House provides educational materials and classes, supportive care, mental health assessments, forensic interviews and medical exams for child abuse victims all in one facility. The Dolphin House is also a resource for community education on child abuse issues. Prior to the Dolphin House law enforcement or social workers had to transport child victims to their departments for interviews, which were scary for the victims and often poorly recorded. Then they would e off to the emergency room or clinic for their medical exam. There was often a wait and general chaos. It became hard to coordinate appointments and there was a lack of information sharing between agencies and a huge lack of continuity for the victims. Now from the minute a child and his/her family walks into the doors of the Dolphin House...greeted by the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies...they begin their journey of healing." --Dr. Mary L. Vader, pediatrician, Pediatric Associates, LLC

"The Dolphin House is an important organization that offers services for six counties in the 7th Judicial District for abused children and non-offending family members. As Chief Investigator for the 7th Judicial District, I am in a unique position to observe the devastating effects of child abuse on the victims and their families. The Dolphin House is well equipped to provide a safe, comforting, non-threatening environment...minimizing additional trauma for the victims. The Dolphin House is an asset to our district, coordinating our multidisciplinary team during the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, as well as providing advocacy and support for all victims even beyond the investigation and prosecution phases...walking beside the victims throughout the healing process."-- Tammy Stroup, Undersheriff, Ouray County Sheriff's Office. 

“Too often children are subjected to physical abuse, sexual abuse, or witness the most horrific situations their family goes through. The abuse not only effects the child immediately, but there are long lasting effects the child will sustain if not properly addressed and managed. The Dolphin House is a part of and plays a vital role in the multi-disciplinary team to help begin this process of healing and stabilization from beginning to end with these children. The high level of competence, resources, and care the members of the Dolphin House have enables better quality and comprehensive services received by the child and their family. Without the Dolphin House, we could not effectively and efficiently investigate, intervene, and prosecute these very fragile and complex cases. The Dolphin House is the glue that holds everything together and can also arguably be the heart of a case.” Montrose Police Department Detective Mark Trimble


To provide help, hope and healing for victims of child abuse and ensure, by coordinating the multidisciplinary team process, that the cases of all victims have access to non-traumatizing, quality interviews and medical exams...leading to better investigations and more prosecutable cases.

Background Statement

In 2003, more than 40 child service professionals began meeting to discuss how child abuse cases were being handled in the 7th Judicial District. Over the ensuing 12 months, this group met many times to discuss the methods used by law enforcement agencies and Health & Human Service agencies to investigate reports of child abuse. What they discovered was practices being used were inflicting additional trauma on the victims, agencies were not communicating with each other, and very few cases were being prosecuted. This group began to look at the Child Advocacy Center model that came into existence with the Child Abuse Act of 1990, and determined that this model was what was needed for child abuse victims in the 7th Judicial District. This group submitted a request for start-up funding from the National Children's Alliance, the accreditation body for Child Advocacy Centers in the United States, and upon approval for funding, began to put into place the 7th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center, DBA the Dolphin House Child Advocacy Center.

The doors of the Dolphin House opened July 1, 2005, and since that time has provided services to more than 2,700 child (primary) victims and more than 5,000 non-offending family members (secondary victims).

Each year the number of victims served has increased, and beginning in 2010, the number of victims served was more than the other four and a half years combined. We saw substantial increases in both 2020 and 2021, which was about 23 percent higher in the number of victims served in years prior. Those numbers continue to stay elevated and the abuse has also increased in its severity.

Client surveys show us that many victims and mandatory reporters reported the abuse because they know there is a safe, non-threatening place where child victims can be brought...a place where they are treated with dignity and respect...a place where they receive help and hope...a place where caring individuals walk beside them down the long road to healing.

Through the multidisciplinary team process, we are seeing more complete investigations of cases, which have led to an increase in cases being accepted by the District Attorney for prosecution.

Organization Data


Organization name

The Dolphin House

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Human Services

Organization Size

Medium Organization


735 South 1st Street
Montrose, CO 81401

Service areas

Montrose County, CO, US


970 240 8655



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