By focusing first on the needs of children and their families, the Children's Advocacy Center ensures that important services and information are provided for you. Utilizing a team approach and a recorded interview improves the quality of the investigation and minimizes further trauma by reducing the number of times the child has to talk about their experiences.
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When allegations of abuse are made, the MDT has a mandate to look into these concerns. All sources of information are considered and reviewed to ensure the safety of your child. Team members will keep you informed about the status of the investigation. The Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) staff and MDT will be available to provide you with support and answer any questions you might have about the process.
Usually the members of the investigative team will talk with you to discuss the interview and to inform you as to how the investigation will proceed. You will receive a list of team members and their contact information. The services provided by the Children's Advocacy Center do not end when families leave the Center. Your advocate will remain in touch with you to keep you informed about the progress of the case, access needed services, and assist in any legal proceedings.
During the interview, your child will speak with a person specially trained to talk to children about their experiences. Interviews are held in a room which allows for observation by other members of the team and is recorded so that your child may only have to speak about their experiences once. The interviewer asks neutral, fact-finding questions in a way that is sensitive to your child's age and ability while gathering the information needed to successfully investigate allegations of abuse.
Your victim advocate will provide referral information for a therapist specifically trained and experienced in trauma and abuse. Counseling can help you, your child and your family through this very difficult time.
Based on the allegation or the interview, the team may decide a medical evaluation is needed. Your victim advocate will provide referral information for an assessment and consultation by a trained medical professional.