Serving Johnson County and Wyandotte County

You & Your Child Are Not Alone.


Sunflower House is a place for children to be interviewed after a report of child abuse has been made.

Our specially trained forensic interviewers interview children in rooms that are wired to electronically record the child’s statement.

Often the recorded interview is used in further investigation or prosecution in a court of law. We work with the police and child protective service workers to talk with children in our safe and child-centered location. 

Our Goals

  • Do the best we can to find out what happened
  • Make the investigation process as comfortable as possible for both you and your child
  • Explain the child protection and legal systems
  • Assist with scheduling your child for a thorough, specialized medical evaluation

What You’ll Need

Referrals are accepted from law enforcement agencies or the Department for Children and Families (DCF).

Many times, children need a comprehensive medical evaluation. Sunflower House staff will assist families in scheduling these exams with pediatricians specifically trained in child sexual and physical abuse.


How It Works

Step 1. Before Your Appointment

Please write down and bring with you any concerns you have about your child. You know your child best and your information is important to us. Before your appointment at Sunflower House, please do not discuss the abuse allegations with your child. If your child wants to talk, permit him or her to discuss it. At this time, however, it is best if you do not bring it up yourself. Tell them that you honestly don’t know exactly what will be asked but that you have every confidence in them that they’ll be honest and that the person will make them feel comfortable during the talk. Assure them that this person is child-friendly and that it’s their job to talk to kids about difficult things. Tell them you want him/her to answer all the questions the best they can and to tell the truth.


Give the child permission to talk about what they have disclosed. Be general in what you tell the child (i.e. “It’s ok to tell the interviewer what you told me (or whomever they told) happened to you when you were …”). Assure them that they are not in any trouble.

Remind your child that you will be nearby during the interview. Let your child know it is alright to talk to the people at Sunflower House and that other kids come to Sunflower House.

Step 2. The Interview

Sunflower House is a safe place where your child will meet with a social worker who has experience talking with many children and teenagers. Our “house” is a child-centered place with toys, books, play tables, an aquarium and TV room. Before the interview, the team members (DCF, law enforcement, forensic interviewer, family advocate and medical staff) will meet briefly.

The family advocate will then show you the interview room, talk about your child’s visit, and answer any questions you have about the process. This is a good time to tell the family advocate about your child’s feelings, emotional/mental development, language skills, and special needs. Then, the interviewer will come to the lobby, introduce herself to you and your child and then take your child to the interview room to begin The length of the interview varies depending on each child’s statements, needs, and specific circumstances.


During the interview, the interviewer will spend time getting to know your child and asking non-leading questions. This interview will be recorded on a flash drive in order to preserve your child’s statement. Only one person will interview your child. A social worker, a detective and our medical staff observe the interview from another room.

After your child’s interview begins, the Sunflower House Family Advocate will meet with you. After the interview is completed, the interviewer, family advocate, detective, DCF social worker, and medical staff then meet briefly. The detective and DCF social worker will then meet with you. They will tell you what they have learned and answer questions about what will happen next. Many times, they will need to ask you questions as well. Your child will remain in the lobby while you meet with the detective and social worker.

Step 3. Support for the Caregiver

After your child’s interview begins, the Family Advocate at Sunflower House will meet with you and any other caregivers to equip the family with the tools and knowledge needed to best support, understand, and protect the child.


The Family Advocate will help all caregivers learn how to access specialized resources to help resolve issues related to the abuse their child has experienced. The Family Advocate also provides referral information to other professionals and members of the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does a referral to Sunflower House mean?

A: When allegations of abuse are made, a multi-disciplinary team comprised of law enforcement, child protective services, and Sunflower House, is required to look into concerns thoroughly. Sometimes these complaints are substantiated, and other times they are not. Interviews are done in a manner that is neutral and are not done to “prove” abuse occurred. A forensic interview is only one piece of an entire investigation. Other sources of information are considered and reviewed to ensure the safety of your child.

Q: Should I prepare my child for this interview?

A: Children are most comfortable when they know what to expect. Explain to your child that he or she will be meeting with a person whose job it is to talk with children. You should not tell your child what to say. Please be mindful of conversations you have with others around your child as it could influence the information he/she shares during his/her interview. Reassure your child that he or she is not in trouble, that it is ok to talk to the interviewer and that it is important to tell the truth.

Q: What is the advantage of having my child interviewed at Sunflower House?

A: Your child is our top priority. Sunflower House provides a place that is friendly, private and safe for children to talk. The forensic interview and the multi-disciplinary approach reduce the trauma your child may experience by limiting the number of times his/her story is told. Services for your family will be better coordinated, and you will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the people working on your child’s case.

Q: May I bring a friend or family member to wait with me?

A: You are more than welcome to bring a support person with you to Sunflower House. However, you cannot bring the person accused of maltreatment.

Q: How long will the visit last?

A: The length of your appointment depends on how many children in your family are being interviewed, what your child discusses and the length of time needed for you, the detective, social worker and the family advocate to meet. In general, the visit for one child lasts about two hours.

Q: What happens during the interview?

A: Your child will be interviewed in a child friendly room by a specially trained forensic interviewer. The interviewer asks neutral, fact finding questions in a way that is sensitive to your child’s age and ability. The interview will be videotaped. This may help reduce the need for repeat interviews.

Q: May I stay with my child during the interview?

A: The interviewer must talk with your child alone. It is difficult for children to talk about abuse they may have experienced and may be difficult for parents to hear. Having a parent in the room may distract or inhibit children during the interview. Children may also want the parent to answer questions for them. It is best if the child can provide information independently.

Q: What will happen after the interview?

A: The detective assigned to the case and/or the DCF investigator may want to talk with you before and/or after the interview. At this time, they may be able to tell you what may happen next regarding the investigation. This may also be a good time for you to share information and your concerns.


“Sunflower House staff was very professional, personable and kind. They made my children feel comfortable and safe. Thank you for your support and compassion.”


“I’m thankful that places like this are here to help in a situation like the one we have right now. My kids are safe now.”


“I am very thankful this center exists for the children facing this it goes a long way in rebuilding the trust and safe boundaries that have been broken for them. I’m amazed at how at ease I felt through this terrible process.”

Contact Us.

If you have any concerns or questions prior to your appointment that you would like to discuss, contact the Sunflower House Intake Coordinator at 913-631-5800.

Need more info? Download our free booklet for more information about what parents need to know about child sexual abuse.  

Learn More

Our Partners

Impact 100 United Way of Greater Kansas City