Much of the work CACs are best known for takes place within the realm of Advocacy and Investigative services. This service area establishes the information families need prior to visiting ChicagoCAC, obtains important investigative details in a child-friendly, trauma-informed way during the forensic interview, and sees to the comfort and support of children and families while they’re on-site.
Learn more about some of these important parts of ChicagoCAC’s work:
Also knows as Family Services, intake coordinators contact families referred through DCFS or CPD to arrange a family’s initial visit to ChicagoCAC, and they coordinate our partners to facilitate a child-focused investigative process that preserves and protects evidence to support child abuse allegations.
ChicagoCAC forensic interviewers, intake coordinators, and CSEC/Human Trafficking specialists work in conjunction with staff from our MDT partners to collaborate in addressing cases of suspected child sexual abuse.
Family advocates ensure that children and families get the support and resources they need, including mental health care, to help them overcome the trauma of abuse. During a family’s visit to ChicagoCAC, advocates conduct a needs screening with caregivers and discuss initial and immediate ways to provide support to the family.
Specially trained forensic interviewers provide children with a safe place to share their story in their own words to experts who will listen to them, protect them and help them heal. Interviews are often observed by MDT partners from DCFS, CPD and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Child life specialists seek to reduce children’s anxiety by providing developmentally appropriate care and activities for clients and siblings before, during and after services, and providing support during visits to our onsite medical clinic.
Our Human Trafficking specialists review all cases referred to ChicagoCAC for indicators of human trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children and facilitate ongoing therapeutic and support services with trafficking victims and those determined to be high-risk for trafficking.
This video shows how the Advocacy and Investigative Services Team works together to support children in a fictionalized re-enactment of our investigate process. Please be advised of a brief moment of potentially upsetting content.