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, police, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they might be in trouble, or may be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning adult that could hurt the case against the abuser.
When police or child protective services believe a child is being abused, the child is brought to the CAC—a safe, child-focused environment—by a caregiver or other safe adult. At the CAC, the child tells their story once to a trained interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not retraumatize the child. Then, a team that includes medical professionals, law enforcement, mental health, prosecution, child protective services, victim advocacy, and other professionals make decisions together about how to help the child based on the interview. This is called the multidisciplinary team (MDT) response and is a core part of the work of CACs. CACs offer referrals to therapy, medical exams, courtroom preparation, victim advocacy and other needed services.
To bring together a multidisciplinary team of professionals committed to provide healing and justice for children who have endured physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, child pornography, neglect and exposure to violence in a child-focused, trauma-informed environment.
Considering something other than a monetary donation? Shop AmazonSmile and select April House as your charitable organization. Additionally, we hope you might consider donating a new item to replenish our supplies. Drop off any of the following at our office at 501 N. Madison St., Morrison, IL. Feel free to call us at 815-772-5286 in advance to make sure someone will be available to accept your donation.