In the past, allegations of child abuse and exploitation were investigated independently by the various agencies necessarily involved in such cases. The child was subjected to repeated interviews by well-meaning social, legal, medical, mental health, and law enforcement agencies as they tried to address investigative and protective concerns. This process was insensitive to victims and resulted in duplication of effort, working at cross-purposes, and ineffective and delayed responses and intervention.
Child abuse and exploitation cases warrant special attention and knowledge.
Today, a child can be brought to a CAC that recognizes the special, unique needs of child victims. CACs utilize a comprehensive, child-friendly, culturally competent, multidisciplinary team process. This fosters collaboration among the agencies involved to promptly and effectively evaluate the child's allegation with regard to protective and safety concerns, mental health issues, medical treatment, and possible criminal prosecution.
The Middlesex CAC was developed in recognition of the fact that child abuse and exploitation cases warrant special attention and knowledge that reaches beyond that which any one professional can provide.