Amani Center l Columbia Child Abuse Assessment Center l 503.366.4005 l Services

Our Programs and Services

Services for Children & Families

Since Amani Center's inception in 2000, the Center has provided medical evaluation, forensic interview and support and referral services to over 2000 children in Columbia County. The Center has also provided educational program presentations to youth and adults in the community and training for community partners.


Visiting Families

Children and youth who come to the Amani Center find caring professionals who are ready to help. Amani Center's waiting room is a very comfortable and welcoming environment where children may read, watch movies, play with toys or draw while they wait for their appointment.

Assessment Services

Children and youth will be offered a complete head-to-toe physical examination. This examination is non-invasive and no shots or needles are involved. Children are also given the opportunity to talk with a highly skilled Interviewer who is specially trained to talk and listen to children of all ages.

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The Amani Center is available for questions related to child well-being and safety. Staff at the Amani Center can provide information and referrals to other appropriate services when needed.

Family Support

In addition to questions from families in the community, The Amani Center Family Support Specialist is available to meet with families when their child receives a medical evaluation in our facility. We know that protective and supportive families are the best resource for kids to recover from the trauma of abuse.

Forensic Medical Assessments

Specially trained Medical Examiners perform a comprehensive head-to-toe exam to determine and document a child’s health and safety. These medical assessments may include drug screening for children endangered by exposure to drug use, distribution, or manufacturing; and/or referrals for sexually transmitted infection (STI) lab testing when applicable . With the training required to identify and diagnose signs of abuse, Medical Examiners use their findings to make recommendations to law enforcement, child protective workers and family members.

Forensic Interviewing Services

Digitally recorded forensic interviews, observed by investigators, are provided so children can share their stories in a safe and neutral setting, guided by Interviewers who are specially trained to talk to children of all ages and developmental levels. Child Interviewers work with the Medical Examiners as part of the assessment process.

Medical Record Reviews

Amani Center Medical Examiners will review a child’s medical records and make recommendations for treatment or follow-up in cases of medical neglect, child abuse, and Karly’s Law cases.

Family Support Services

Case Management

Support, consultation, referrals and education are offered free of charge for families in Columbia County struggling with issues of abuse or neglect. These services are offered to non-offending family members of children receiving evaluations at the Amani Center as well as other families in the community who have questions or concerns about a child’s behavior. Please contact Terri MacEllven or Amelia Kercher at 503-366-4005 for more information.

Safety Planning

The Amani Center guides non-offending caregivers in taking safety measures and making safety plans that will help protect children from future abusive situations. This is done through verbal and written communication with non-offending caregivers, including the Amani Center’s Caregiver Informational Packet. Safety Plans can be customized to Amani Center client’s unique needs. Please contact Terri MacEllvan or Amelia Kercher at 503-366-4005 for more information or to assist you with safety planning for your child(ren).

Community Outreach & Education

Amani Center does not currently offer any specific eduational training opportunities. However, if you are interested in a partnership in developing a training or informational seminar for your office or organization, please contact Amelia Kercher or Beth Pulito to discuss options.  503-366-4005


Community Education / Training

Specialized education opportunities for caregivers, parents, community members, and professionals. Possible topics include:
  • Prevention
  • Mandatory reporting
  • How to respond when a child discloses
  • Identifying signs of abuse
  • Communication strategies with child(ren)
  • Traits and characteristics of offenders
  • Research and statistics

    To make a donation in support of Amani Center's outreach efforts. Be sure to note "Community Outreach and Education" under the designation. Please contact Beth Pulito, Fundraising & Outreach Coordinator at 503-366-4005 for more information on donating to the Amani Center.


Consultation Calls

General requests for information and referrals regarding child abuse from community members, parents, and other professionals are provided by members of the clinical team. These are often requests for information when no specific child is identified. If you would like information, please call Terri MacEllven or Amelia Kercher at 503-366-4005 .


Karly's Law

From the time when Karly’s Law was first set in motion in 2008, thousands of Oregon children have received medical evaluations and support as a response to suspected physical abuse. The catalyst for this law was Karly Sheehan, a three year old girl from Corvallis, Oregon who died from physical abuse and neglect in 2005 after several allegations went unheeded.

Since 2008, children in Oregon who display questionable physical injuries in the course of a child abuse investigation must receive medical assessment within 48 hours.

Karly’s Law imposes specific statutory requirements on law enforcement, Department of Human Services, and medical providers who have received specialized training to assess injuries that may have been caused by child abuse.

At Amani Center, we strive to fulfill the mandates of Karly’s Law and continue her legacy by offering a safe, supportive atmosphere and providing medical assessments to children who are suspected victims of abuse or neglect. Amani Center is the designated medical provider where Columbia County children are referred, and must be seen within 48 hours, when injuries are suspected to be the result of physical abuse. Because of this, the Center maintains a number of open appointment times in order to accommodate these urgent assessments.

Click the link below to view a training video on what you need to know about Karly's Law. This training is designed to provide basic knowledge about the key points of Karly’s Law.


Introduction Letter From Oregon's Attorney General

Where Services are Provided

The Center provides evaluative medical and forensic, support and educational services in one child-friendly facility. The Amani Center provides administrative and forensic medical services from the heart of St. Helens at 1621 Columbia Blvd., St. Helens, Oregon, 97051.

For more information about the Center or to make a referral, please call 503-366-4005, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM-5:00 P.M. We are closed on all federal holidays.


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