Working as a team to make a difference in the lives of sexually and physically abused children.
We serve children in Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Moultrie, & Shelby Counties
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. 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 teacher or other 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. CAC's offer therapy and medical exams, plus courtroom preparation, victim advocacy, case management, and other services. This is called the multidisciplinary team (MDT) response and is a core part of the work of CAC's.
The Children's Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois believes that the investigative process should not add to the pain a child has already suffered through abuse itself. The Children's Advocacy Center gives children a safe and caring place for specialized interviews. Our team works together to make a plan that best meets the needs of the child and family.
A vital component of the Children's Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois is to help educate the local communities about child abuse issues as well as to heighten the public's awareness of our services. Center staff is available to local businesses, civic groups and organization. Please contact the Children's Advocacy Center in Charleston with any requests or questions.
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