child advocacy

Essay by quettamaecoopA, September 2013

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Child Advocacy Visit Report

Social Work 3500

The Child Advocacy Center of East Alabama, established in 1991, is a safe place for children and families. At the time, the CAC serviced Lee, Macon, Chambers, Randolph, and Tallapoosa Counties. In the late 1990's, Bill Fuller, a resident of Chambers County, paved the way for Chambers County to have its own CAC. Their purpose is to provide a child-friendly atmosphere where children feel protected and are encouraged to tell their story. Mrs. Brock did a magnificent job describing to our class that before the advocacy center was established, young victims of abuse were often passed from agency to agency, some cases were even ignored. The center is now know as the place children go first. All professional involved come to the child, not the child coming to everyone else as done in previous years.

Many services are provided at CAC such as public awareness campaigns, evidence-based educational programs, forensic interviews, counseling and victim and family advocacy. Child Protective Services, Prosecution, Law Enforcement, Medical & Mental Health all get involved with the child and work as a team to figure out what is best for the child's situation.

Last year, the center conducted 329 forensic interviews, which were able to be used as evidence in the search for sexual perpetrators locally. Mrs. Brock said the Department of Human Resources will have a social worker and law enforcement will have an investigator observe the interviews behind a one-way window. A parent may never watch the interview because the parent may not be able to handle the information given and interrupt the child during their disclosure. The forensic interview is conducted to get the child's version of events in the incidence of sexual abuse,