Our CAC Process
The services provided and the roles of the team members are described below. Click the numbers in the house to see these roles.
Forensic Interview Specialist
The forensic interviewer is a competently trained, neutral professional. A forensic interview of a child is a developmentally sensitive and legally sound method of gathering factual information regarding allegations of abuse or exposure to violence. The Forensic Interviewer will meet with your child so that your child can provide a statement about what happened.
Mental Health Professional
Our “Trauma Response and Recovery” program, is comprised of a team of licensed master’s level therapists who are specially trained in Trauma-Focused individual, family, and group therapies. Mental health professionals (therapists) on the team help decide how the abuse has affected the child and family and what can be done to assist them in healing from the experience.
Medical Director, Pediatrician, Psychiatric Mental Health Nure Practitioner, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE)
Our team of medical professionals consists of a network of physicians and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) who provide medical exams when necessary. Depending on what may have happened to your child, a medical exam may be requested by the investigative team. This exam, performed in a child-friendly room, is not invasive or painful. Medical exams are performed to assess for and treat STDs and injuries, evaluate for pregnancy, and to document trauma. More importantly, exams help to reassure the child that his or her body is okay. Regardless of when children are evaluated, most children will have normal examinations. This does not mean that no sexual abuse has occurred. It is possible that children and teens have been involved in sexual activity without injury or lasting signs.
Law Enforcement Detective
Our partners in law enforcement are often the first to respond to allegations of child abuse. Their role is to ensure the safety of the public and to investigate cases of abuse. They interview non-offending caregivers, suspects, and other witnesses, and gather evidence from the scene of the alleged event.
District Attorney (DA)/Prosecutor
Prosecutors investigate alleged crimes in cooperation with law enforcement and file criminal charges or bring evidence before the Grand Jury. Prosecutors represent the parish government on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office to enforce state and local laws.
The prosecutor leads the team, which decides whether charges will be filed. Consideration is given to many factors which will affect the likelihood of success in court. Some of the factors considered are age and maturity of the child, the child’s ability to testify, whether or not the suspect has admitted to the allegations, the presence of medical evidence, and whether or not there are other witnesses.
The Victim Advocate
Our team of Family and Victim Advocates provides support to child victims and their non-offending family members. Advocates interact with the child and their family to assess their needs and coordinate resources for families throughout the investigation and healing process.
The Victim Advocate from the DA’s Office is a trained professional who helps the caregiver when the case has been accepted by the DA’s office. The Victim Advocate coordinates the court preparation, helps victims and their families understand the legal process, and provides other valuable services to victims and their families. All Victim Advocates help the caregiver connect with services in the community and provide education and emotional support as the caregiver protects the child in the aftermath of the abuse report.
Prevention and Education Specialists
This part of our program operates separately from the MDT but is nonetheless critical. The goal of prevention and community education is to prevent abuse before it happens or to identify abuse cases earlier to promote better health outcomes. We aim to find it early or prevent it altogether. Our team of prevention and education specialists offer free education and training in the subject of child abuse prevention, trauma-informed responses to childhood trauma, and online and internet safety.
Department Of Children's and Family Service Caseworker
The role of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is to help protect your child. Our partners at the Department and Children’s and Family Services (DCFS) work to ensure that children are safe. Through the investigation, implementation of safety plans for children and their families, and follow-up interactions, DCFS workers work to help ensure children remain in safe environments.