Bella is our newest addition to the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children and the first therapy dog for a child advocacy center in the state. Bella's job is to help build rapport with the patient and let children and families know they are in a safe place.
She can help reduce anxiety, stress and fear associated with a forensic interview and medical exam. Bella can also help build self-esteem and a feeling of control when the child gets her to do tricks. She will eventually also be in the room during interviews, which may help the child disclose abuse or neglect by being able to tell Bella instead of the interviewer.