ChicagoCAC responds to reports of child sexual abuse as part of a multi-disciplinary team of experts, including the following public partners, who are co-located in our facility:
- Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). DCFS investigators work closely with ChicagoCAC’s intake team and family advocates to ensure the well-being of child victims, including developing protective plans to ensure children’s safety while the investigation is ongoing.
- Chicago Police Department. Special Investigations Unit Detectives respond to reports and investigate allegations of sexual abuse by collecting evidence to determine whether a crime has been committed and arresting alleged perpetrators. ChicagoCAC’s intake team and family advocates work closely with detectives to help families participate fully in the investigative process.
- Cook County Health and Hospitals System. Board-certified child abuse pediatricians from John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County run ChicagoCAC’s on-site medical clinic. Clinicians provide comprehensive, trauma-informed exams to collect any forensic evidence and ensure the health and safety of clients and their siblings.
- Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. State’s attorneys provide legal expertise to determine whether a crime is prosecutable. They use information collected by ChicagoCAC’s forensic interviewers to support prosecution of alleged perpetrators.
In addition, ChicagoCAC staff partner with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital in our response to reports of physical abuse of children under age 3. These partners are not co-located in our facility.
Our collaborative approach is based on a nationwide model of child advocacy centers, and we are accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. Together, we believe that a multi-disciplinary approach is the most effective way to protect children and prevent abuse.