FAQs

What is the Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI) and what does it do?

What is the Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI) and what does it do?

ACASI is a victim service program that provides specialized services and support to children who have lost a parent to intimate partner homicide and their adult caregiver(s).

Intimate partner homicide is a particular type of violent crime. Children and adult family members who lose a loved one this way often experience a particular kind of traumatic grief. In addition to providing services to assist survivors with emotional healing, ACASI can also help families access economic resources and information necessary to navigate the criminal justice system.

To assist these survivors, ACASI offers the following services:

  • Information, referral, and connection to resources
  • Expert counseling/therapy
  • Group therapy and peer support
  • Crisis counseling (in-person or by phone)
  • Assistance in filing for Victim Compensation
  • Personal advocacy
  • Volunteer mentoring

Who can receive services from ACASI?

Who can receive services from ACASI?

ACASI serves children who have lost a parent to intimate partner homicide and their adult caregivers. A “parent” can be a biological parent, stepparent, guardian, foster parent/placement or other caregivers. Intimate partner homicide means that the child’s parent was a victim of a homicide committed by a current or former intimate partner (husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend).

ACASI currently provides services throughout the state of Arizona.

Who can refer a child or caregiver/guardian for services?

Who can refer a child or caregiver/guardian for services?

Anyone who knows of an eligible child or caregiver/guardian may make a referral to ACASI. Those most likely to refer someone to ACASI include victim advocates, law enforcement and other first responders, school counselors or school psychologists, attorneys, and child welfare personnel. Any professional making a referral should follow relevant guidelines concerning confidentiality and consent to release information.

A child’s caregiver/guardian may also call ACASI to request services.

How do I make a referral or speak with ACASI about services?

How do I make a referral or speak with ACASI about services?

There are three ways to make a referral or connect with ACASI for services:

Is the confidentiality/release statement on the referral form required to begin the process?

Is the confidentiality/release statement on the referral form required to begin the process?

No. This section of the referral form should be completed by the child’s legal guardian or caregiver whenever possible and appropriate. In order to protect the rights of our clients, the information we receive from a referral source will be treated as confidential and in accordance with all applicable state and federal statutes.

Can someone still receive ACASI services if the homicide happened several months or several years ago?

Can someone still receive ACASI services if the homicide happened several months or several years ago?

Yes. We know that survivors need and want different types of help at different points in time. ACASI will provide services to children and their caregivers at any point after the homicide has occurred.

What should I expect after making a referral to ACASI or requesting services from ACASI?

What should I expect after making a referral to ACASI or requesting services from ACASI?

An ACASI case management coordinator/advocate will contact the person making the referral to discuss the referral, answer questions, determine what kinds of services and support the child and caregiver would like and agree upon next steps. Generally, we will reach out to the caregiver/guardian and communicate first by phone or arrange to meet in person, depending upon the caregiver’s preference and availability.

What happens if a family receiving services moves outside ACASI’s service area?

What happens if a family receiving services moves outside ACASI’s service area?

If a child or family leaves one of ACASI’s service areas, the assigned case management coordinator/advocate will work with the caregiver/guardian to identify and connect with the desired services in the new community.

I see that ACASI is located in Flagstaff. Does this mean children and families have to travel to receive services?

I see that ACASI is located in Flagstaff. Does this mean children and families have to travel to receive services?

No. ACASI provides all of its services in the child or family’s home community. ACASI staff will travel throughout Arizona when necessary.

How are ACASI’s therapy and support groups different from the peer support groups already in my community?

How are ACASI’s therapy and support groups different from the peer support groups already in my community?

ACASI’s therapeutic support groups are designed to respond to the specific situations and needs of children who have lost a parent to intimate partner homicide, and their adult caregivers, many of whom have also lost a loved one. How do we know about these needs? We’ve listened to survivors who have explained the ways in which other grief groups haven’t felt relevant or helpful to them. Additionally, clients can participate in peer support groups via telehealth.