Worcester County has a team of multi-disciplinary professionals including the Department of Children and Families (DCF), local and/or State Police, the District Attorney’s Office and other child services agencies that are specifically trained to respond, intervene, investigate and offer treatment to victims of child abuse and to their families. The Team members’ roles are described below:
The District Attorney’s Office:
An Assistant District Attorney who works for the District Attorney’s Office will be assigned to your case. He or she will help determine the course of the investigation. Consideration is given to many factors that will affect the likelihood of success in court. Some of the factors considered are: age and maturity of the child, the child’s ability to testify, whether or not the suspect has confessed, presence of medical (or other) evidence and whether or not there are other witnesses.
Forensic Interviewers are trained to provide forensically sound interviews for children who have been alleged to be abused or have witnessed abuse. The Forensic Interviewers have received advanced training on interviewing techniques. They also routinely participate in peer review meetings to continually develop their skills and attend ongoing professional training.
Victim Witness Advocate
The Victim Witness Advocate (VWA) is a professional in the DA’s office who coordinates and helps victims and their families understand the legal process and may provide other services or referrals on an as-needed basis.
The Family Advocate welcomes you to our CAC and provides families with resources, and services.
They interview witnesses, suspects and anyone who may have information about the case. They also gather evidence.
The Department of Children and Families:
The Department of Children and Families’ Investigator will attend the forensic interview and conduct a protective investigation regarding the allegation(s), and will determine whether DCF should open a case with your family for support and services.
The Child Protection Program (CPP) at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center in Worcester, is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers and advocates, all specially trained and experienced in the care of children and families dealing with abuse or neglect.