CAC Program

Children's Advocacy Center (CAC)

What is the CAC?

The CAC serves child victims of abuse through a comprehensive approach of providing services to the victim and their non-offending family members.

The CAC provides a safe, neutral child-focused 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 (DCFS).

CAC Services:

Forensic Interviews
A forensic interview (or victim sensitive interview) is a non-threatening, trauma-informed, fact-based approach to gathering crucial information from children of all ages. Forensic interviews are conducted in a one-on-one format. The child and the Forensic Interviewer speak in a child-friendly room while the multidisciplinary team observes from another room. 

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Also called TF-CBT, this type of therapy is an evidence-based practice used to treat children who have experienced abuse or neglect. This specialized assessment and treatment is given by mental health professionals. TF-CBT is provided on-site and off-site via referral.  This service is offered to every child and non-offending family member who has come to Child Network for a forensic interview.

Resource Referrals
Each family who visits Child Network completes a needs assessment with the Family Advocate. This allows them to collaborate and find any other services that may be beneficial to the child and family. Common referrals include medical, legal, and counseling services.

Medical Forensic Exam
Click the title of this section to learn more about your rights and choices for medical forensic exams!

"To understand what a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is, you must understand what children face without one. Without a CAC, the child may end up having to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again, to doctors, cops, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others."

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