Who We Are
A Network of Hope
Together, we can do more.
This belief is at the core of who we are. Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) were born from this vision:
Everyone involved in child maltreatment investigations could do more to help the child if they worked together. We do this by offering the following services:
- forensic interviews
- sane/sart medical exams
- crisis counseling
- trauma-informed counseling
- parent support
- court preparation and support
- darkness to light: stewards of children training
- personal safety and awareness program
Born from a vision.
Rather than a child and their family bouncing around a fragmented system, investigators would come together to listen to the child. All of the investigators hear the same story at the same time. It sounds simple, but this commitment to work together revolutionized the way significant abuse allegations are investigated. Our Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) approach to child abuse cases, bringing together law enforcement, criminal justice, Child Protective Services, and medical and mental health workers onto one coordinated team to improve case outcomes. For a child who may have been a victim of abuse, however, the story doesn’t end with the investigation. The effects of abuse can linger. For that reason, CACs ensure that a child has access to support and therapy. The goal of all of this is to help the child heal, so she can get back to being a kid. In 1990 the first CAC in Michigan began working with children using exactly this approach. Since then, communities across the state have developed a Child Advocacy Center of their own. Now more than 90% of children in Michigan have access to a CAC if needed. Since 2008, The Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County has worked to coordinate the investigation and treatment of the most serious cases of child abuse in Lapeer County. All the services children need – forensic interviews, medical care, advocacy support, and counseling – are offered under one roof in a safe, child-friendly location. The Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County is modeled on the simple but powerful concept of coordination between community agencies and professionals involved in the system of child protection.
One Place. One Child. One Time.
- Reduces the number of interviews a child victim must endure, which reduces the trauma to the child.
- Creates a comfortable, child-friendly environment for the investigation as opposed to the environment typically experienced in a hospital emergency room or police station.
- Greatly reduces the time victims and their families spend assisting with the investigation because all services are provided at one location – what once took weeks can often be achieved in hours.
- Reduces police and Child Protective Services investigative time.
- Enables quicker prosecutions through more efficient case processing.
- Increases communication between agencies for an improved understanding of their roles and case need.