CACs are how communities mount a coordinated response to allegations of child abuse. To understand what a CAC is, you must understand what children face without one. Without a CAC, children may end up having to tell the worst story of their life over and over again, to doctors, police, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others.
And they may not get the help they need to heal once the investigation is over.
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.
Harm experienced in childhood can have significant and lasting effects and children can respond differently to what has occurred.
Children may experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical problems as a result of being harmed, including low self esteem, increased fear, guilt and self-blame. Victims of abuse may have difficulty trusting adults and forming healthy relationships.
Studies have also shown there is an increased risk for mental health disorders, self-harming or suicidal thoughts, learning and eating disorders, violent or criminal behavior, physical injuries and/or death.
Our trained interviewers work with a Multidisciplinary Team to minimize the number of times children have to tell their story and allow them to do so in a child-friendly, legally sound and neutral environment.
FRC Advocates focus on the needs of the children and the non-offending caregiver(s), providing needed support and information along with a compassionate listening ear.
We provide specialized trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR and other evidence-based mental health treaments to help children and families through the healing process.
Specialized medical evaluations are offered to ensure the health and safety of children, to document any evidence of abuse, and to refer for additional care as needed.
FRC provides a vital community service by offering education, prevention and community awareness presentations as well as trainings on relevant and vital safety issues.