Use of a CAC reduces trauma to child victims by minimizing duplication of interviews and examinations, and improves the ability of investigators to uncover facts and evidence. The CAC model is an internationally recognized, evidence-based practice.
Services we provide:
- Forensic Interviews
- Forensic Medical Evaluations
- Mental Health Referrals
The purpose of a forensic interview is to obtain information from a child about abuse allegations that will support accurate and fair decision making by the multidisciplinary investigative team within the criminal justice, child protection and services delivery systems. Forensic interviews are the foundation for multiple functions including child abuse investigation, prosecution, child protection and implementation of appropriate services, and may also be the beginning of the road toward healing for many children and families. The forensic interview is conducted by a specially-trained interviewer who has received training from the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This interview is video-recorded and takes into account the developmental level and cultural sensitivities of the child, and is conducted in an unbiased, legally-admissible manner.
Forensic Medical Evaluation
A forensic medical evaluation is performed at the Center for Child Justice by UPMC Altoona Physician Assistants who are specially trained. This examination emphasizes the detection and documentation of sexual and/or physical abuse in children.
As a neutral agency, the Center for Child Justice works closely with community agencies to facilitate a collaborative approach to child abuse investigations. By limiting the number of interviews and interviewers, children are less traumatized by the process.
In order to ensure collaboration and participation from members of the multidisciplinary team, referrals to the Center for Child Justice may come from prosecution, law enforcement and children and youth services.