What is CAC?

 

Children's Advocacy Center

The Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) serves child victims of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse through a comprehensive approach of providing services to the victim and their non-offending family members. The CAC provides a safe, neutral child-friendly environment where child victims meet with members of a multidisciplinary team for the purpose of the investigative interview. The CAC staff provides advocacy services that help bridge the gap between law enforcement, and the court system.

Children come to the center when a report has been made to either Law Enforcement or the Department of Children and Family Services. The child is seen by a specially trained forensic interviewer in order to gather specific details of the abuse in a non-threatening, forensically sound manner.


What Happens at the CAC?

When a child victim arrives at the center, the CAC Advocate greets the child victim and their non-offending family members/caretakers making them comfortable in the family waiting room. The Advocate briefly explains the interview process to the victim and shows them the interview room.

During the interview, the CAC Advocate meets with the non-offending family members/caretakers to explain the investigative process. Medical, legal, and counseling advocacy referrals will be made for the victim when appropriate.

Every interview at the CAC is recorded for the purpose of the investigation. Although the recording may be used as evidence in court, it does not eliminate the child's testimony if the case goes to court.


What is a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)?

The multidisciplinary team is made up of professionals who work together throughout the investigation and prosecution of child sexual and serious physical abuse cases. The members meet on a monthly basis to review the progress of each case to ensure that the children's needs are being met sensitively and effectively.


Members of the MDT are: