The Child and Family Advocacy Center of South Central Minnesota (CFAC) is a safe, neutral, and child-friendly place for children and adolescents who have experienced abuse, neglect, or who have witnessed a violent crime. Our center offers a new and unique way for our community to address the needs of victims and families. Children come to the CFAC to talk with highly trained, compassionate professionals about what they have experienced. The forensic interviewers are specially trained to conduct neutral, fact-finding interviews that minimize any further trauma for the individual and are appropriate for the cognitive, behavioral, and social development of each person.
Before establishment of the CFAC, victims often would be interviewed by multiple human service agencies, at different times, in different locations. Thus, the individual would have to tell their story multiple times to different persons.
Our multidisciplinary team approach allows the individual to only have to tell their story once. The team approach helps all professionals coordinate effectively to support families along their path towards healing. We approach cases of abuse as a team of community invested professionals and agencies. The forensic interviewer and CFAC staff are part of a dedicated multidisciplinary team, which consists of child protection specialists, mental health providers, child and family advocates, investigative services, and medical consultation may be available. The multidisciplinary team works together to achieve the best possible outcomes for victims. This includes continuing case-management services that promote healing for the victim and effective prosecution of the offender. For more information on how a child advocacy center model works, please go to: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/cac-model/