Before Gingerbread House was formed in 1998, abused children would often be subjected to multiple interviews, often 5-8 interviews, by law enforcement, child protective services, and others. These interviews would take place at the police or sheriff's stations, typically in very sterile and plain environments that were not child-friendly in the least. As a result, less than 5% of cases were being successfully prosecuted. We knew there had to be a better way, so we looked at national models and best practices, and moved forward with establishing the Gingerbread House Children's Advocacy Center. For the past 20 years that we've had the Gingerbread House, children are now interviewed once by trained forensic interviewers employed by the Gingerbread House, in child-friendly rooms. Law enforcement and child protective services monitor the interviews in an adjacent room. We have expanded our outreach from Caddo and Bossier parishes, to all of northwest Louisiana, including Webster, DeSoto, Bienville, Claiborne, Natchitoches, Red River and Sabine parishes. We have also added free counseling services to the victims and their families, as well as a comprehensive prevention education program for children and adults in the community. Currently, over 96% of cases accepted for prosecution are successfully prosecuted. What was once a dream...helping children who had been hurt...has indeed become a reality through the Gingerbread House.
Attorney at Law
Gingerbread House Founding Member