Child Advocacy Center (CAC)
What is the CAC?
The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is a family-friendly space for alleged child victims of sex abuse and/or extreme physical abuse. Trained staff at the CAC conduct forensic interviews with the children at the CPCA to ensure a safe space for children to disclose their stories of abuse. The CAC staff consists of law enforcement, CPS workers, a crime victim advocate, and program coordinators.
Why have a CAC?
Each team member at the CAC plays an integral role in the healing process for the family. The goal of a CAC is to reduce the trauma for the child by providing a safe space where a child can disclose their story of abuse to different professionals without having to repeat it multiple times. The CAC houses all disciplines to keep the child as comfortable as possible, and have all professionals come to one location.
How does the process work?
Upon arrival at the center, the children and non-offending family members are welcomed to sit in one of the family rooms, fully equipped with toys and games for children of all ages before the interview process begins.
CPS and law enforcement explain the interview process to the family before conducting a detailed forensic interview with the child in a private space.
The non-offending caregivers are then debriefed on the child’s interview and the next steps in the investigation process.
What is the role of an Advocate?
The victim advocate is there to help them through the process. The advocate:
- comforts the families
- listens to concerns
- connects families to resources
- refers families to other services
- follows up with the family after the case has been investigated
Examples of Services
- Access to food pantry and storage room supplies
- Educational Pamphlets
- Parenting Classes
- Mental Health Referrals
- Support Groups
- Housing Assistance
- Domestic Violence Services
- Family Court Assistance