What We Do
Services offered by the CAC include a forensic interview, a multi-disciplinary team investigation, and referrals for specialized medical exams and mental health services.
Education, outreach and training are provided by the CAC in the areas of recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect in an effort to prevent the further abuse of children and to enhance the safety of the community. Please see the "Training and Outreach" tab for more information.
The Forensic Interview- What to Expect
During the investigation period, a forensic, or fact finding, interview is conducted using video monitoring and a listening device. The goal of this multi-disciplinary team (MDT) approach is to minimize trauma to children by limiting the number of interviews about the abuse. A trained and experienced investigator, sensitive to the needs of children, conducts the interview, while the MDT observes behind a two-way mirror. The team is able to get all the information about the case without having to re-interview the child. The interview is video-recorded. The MDT team will meet with the non-offending parent after the interview to discuss the disclosure and next steps of the investigation.
What should I tell my child about the interview?
Children are most comfortable when they know what to expect. We suggest that you explain to your child that he or she will be meeting with a concerned adult to talk about what happened to him/her. Do not tell your child what to say; simply tell your child to tell the truth. Tell your child the person that will be talking with him/her talks to lots of children and it is that person’s job to make sure kids are safe. Please reassure your child that he or she is not in trouble and is not going to this appointment because he or she has done something wrong.
Only one member of the team will interview your child, while the other team members observe on the television. The parent will wait for the child in an adjacent Family Waiting Area.
Can I sit with my child during the interview?
Parents do not sit with their child during the interview. It is important for the interviewer to talk with your child alone. Since it is often difficult for children to talk about these issues, a parent’s presence may inhibit or distract the child during the interview. Most children are comfortable in separating from their parents and talking with the interviewer. However, if they are not, we will not force them to participate in the interview.
Can I sit with the Team during the interview?
Parents are not permitted to sit with the team during the interview; however, the case manager will be available to you. Because this is an investigation, the team members need to carefully observe, assess and document the interview. They would be unavailable to respond to your immediate concerns or questions at the time. You will talk with the team after the interview for an update and an opportunity to ask any questions. During the interview you will be provided with a resource folder which will include, names and contact information of every team member present, psychoeducation resources, medical exam information, and Victim Witness forms.
What will happen after this interview?
The professionals on the team will meet briefly to discuss the information disclosed during the interview. You will then meet with the team to discuss information about your child’s interview and hear the team’s recommendations about the investigation.
Will this be the only time my child will have to speak about the abuse?
It is important to understand that participation in this interview does not mean your child will never have to speak about the abuse again. If the case moves forward toward prosecution, an Assistant District Attorney and Victim/Witness Advocate will talk with you about the court process. We encourage families and children to speak with experienced mental health clinicians about their thoughts and feelings about what has happened. The case manager is available to help you with referrals.
Most child abuse investigations begin with an interview of the child.
A team member will contact you to explain the interview process, answer any questions you may have, and set up a time for your child's interview. In an effort to limit the number of times that a child will need to be interviewed, the CAC coordinates a single initial interview of each child. This interview involves a child speaking with the Forensic Interviewer while the rest of the team members observe the interview on a television in another room. This interview is video recorded for documentation purposes.