October 25, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Connolly 508-688-5565
WORCESTER — Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. announced today his office’s Child Advocacy Center has received national reaccreditation.
The CAC, which helps the most vulnerable victims and witnesses of crime to talk about their abuse and trauma in a comfortable and friendly environment, was notified this week of its reaccreditation by the National Children’s Alliance Board of Directors.
“Our CAC is a place where children can feel safe,” Mr. Early said. “We’re very proud again to receive this recognition of our hard work with our most vulnerable victims and witnesses.”
Often the perpetrator of sexual abuse is a family member or trusted friend. It can be difficult for a youngster to talk about what happened and it can be impossible for some victims to understand what happened. The child has to tell the story only once at the CAC. If the child had to tell the story over and over again to strangers, he or she is re-victimized.
Besides law enforcement and prosecutors, the CAC has victim/witness advocates on site. Medical and mental health referrals also can be made from the CAC. The team can watch or monitor the interview without intimidating the young victim or witness.
“We would like to acknowledge the extensive work your center and team has completed to demonstrate through both written documentation and observed practice that the CAC is in compliance with these national accreditation standards,” the board wrote in its confirmation letter. “The standards and their accompanying criteria ensure that children and families in your community receive effective, efficient, relevant and compassionate services.”
More than 350 interviews were conducted with children between the ages of 4 and 18 in the past year. Although most of those interviewed were victims, some were witnesses of a crime.
Mr. Early extended his thanks to the district attorney’s office partners in this endeavor.He especially thanked the Child Protection Program at the University of Massachusetts-Memorial Medical Center and the CAC Advisory Board. Also recognized are the Child Trauma Training Center, the Department of Children and Families, the State Police Detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office and the 60 law enforcement agencies throughout the county.