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The Children’s Advocacy Center is a safe, child-friendly location for children to speak with trained interviewers.
We work with a team of professionals, including law enforcement, DCFS, prosecutors, therapists, and medical providers. During your visit, you will be able to meet some of the professionals working with you and your child and ask them further questions.
When you arrive at the CAC, one of our Advocates will show your child(ren) around the Children’s Advocacy Center. They will get to see the room where they will talk to their forensic interviewer. This will be their chance to get familiar with the process and ask any questions they might have.
Your child will be talking to one of our specialized forensic interviewers. Forensic interviewers are trained to ask open-ended, developmentally appropriate, and non-leading questions. Forensic interviewers receive ongoing training to ensure quality and best practice standards are upheld.
Interviews take place in one of our child-friendly interview rooms. Each room is equipped with comfortable seating and recording equipment.
Only professionals directly involved with the investigation observe the interview. This provides the most neutral setting for the child to be able to speak freely. Professionals directly involved in the investigation include law enforcement, DCFS, prosecution, and Advocates. The team members have the responsibility of observing, assessing, and investigating the allegations. In order to keep the team’s focus on the child, caregivers are not permitted in the observation room.
All interviews at the Children’s Advocacy Center are recorded to minimize the number of times a child will have to discuss the allegations. The recording of the interview is released to law enforcement and/or a prosecuting attorney if requested. The recording is not otherwise released without a court order to ensure complete confidentiality.
When your child meets with the forensic interviewer, you will meet with your Advocate. The Advocate’s role is to offer support, answer questions, and provide you with referrals for other services you may need. Your Advocate will be with you throughout the whole process at the Children’s Advocacy Center and will continue to follow up with you.
If you have other children with you during your visit, they are welcome to play in our playroom area so you can talk privately to your Advocate.
Following the interview, you will meet with investigative members involved in the case. They will share information about the interview and the next steps. A referral for medical or mental health services may be completed depending on the circumstances and information obtained in the interview.
If you have questions at any point during the investigation or prosecution of your child’s case, please contact your advocate.