Children’s Advocacy Centers provide critical services to children that are the victims of the most severe felony abuse which includes all sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, drug endangered children, trafficking victims and children who have witnessed a homicide or similarly violent crime.
Our mission is to meet the needs of children and their families by providing a safe, child-friendly environment that facilitates a family-centered approach, with a multidisciplinary team aimed at helping children and families in all perspectives of care, find justice and healing.
At the Central MS CAC, we strive to provide a comfortable, child-friendly setting in which a child can feel safe telling what has happened to them. Here, a child can tell their experience one time, in one place thereby minimizing trauma to the victim rather than having to tell a doctor, police officer, social worker, therapist, and possibly more.
“Child advocacy centers (CACs) are child-friendly facilities in which law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical, and victim advocacy professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable.” – National Children’s Alliance
These disciplines come together to collaborate on child abuse cases and collectively make decisions and take steps in the cases that are in the best interest of the child and family in their journey to find justice and healing.
Provides non-invasive physical exams for children with allegations or concerns of abuse
Provides evidence-based and trauma-focused mental health treatment to children who have experienced abuse or other traumatizing events
Responds to reports of child abuse, investigates the allegations in conjunction with DHR, and makes arrests when appropriate
Responds to reports of child abuse, investigates the allegations in conjunction with the law enforcement, and works to ensure children are safe
Reviews cases with members of the multidisciplinary team to guide the child abuse investigations, determines whether prosecution in criminal court is appropriate, and prepares cases for trial
Provides the parents/caregivers of children who participate in a forensic interview with support and education about the investigation and criminal justice process, ongoing support, and linkage to community resources
Interview children who may have experienced abuse, using a nationally-recognized forensic interview model developed by NCAC