Coordination of Child Abuse Investigations
Safe & Sound Child Advocacy Center serves to protect and assist child victims (age 17 & under) of suspected physical or sexual abuse. It also serves their non-offending family members. At the Center, an experienced team of professionals come together to respond to reports of suspected child abuse. This Multidisciplinary Team consists of a Forensic Interviewer, a Case Coordinator, Law Enforcement Officers, Children’s Protective Services Case Workers, Prosecuting Attorneys, and medical and mental health professionals.
The Forensic Interviewer. (989-835-9922)
The Forensic Interviewer’s job is to interview children who may have been sexually or seriously physically abused. The Interviewer is trained to ask questions that do not confuse or lead a child to say something that is not true. Forensic means that the interview process is legally accepted by the court. The Forensic Interviewer must have a 4 year college degree, many hours of skilled training, must know about sexual abuse issues, understand and like children, know how to talk with children at their own level and know what children can say and do at different ages. The forensic interviewer DOES NOT write a report.
The Law Enforcement Officer. (911 for emergencies or use the number on the card of the Law Enforcement Officer)
The Law Enforcement Officer’s job is to investigate and determine whether or not a crime has been committed. The Officer watches the forensic interview behind a one-way glass window. The Officer also gathers evidence and talks to parents/caregivers, suspects, and other witnesses. After the forensic interview and investigation, the Officer writes a report and sends it to the prosecutor’s office.
The Children’s Protective Services Case Worker. (1-855-444-3911 to report child abuse or call the number on your caseworker’s card to reach them directly)
The Children’s Protective Services Case Worker’s job is to make sure the child is safe from harm. The Case Worker watches the forensic interview behind a one-way glass window. The Case Worker may also talk to the child, parents/caregivers, suspects, and other people involved with the family. The Case Worker may also talk with teachers and school staff. Additionally, the Case Worker may encourage the child and family to get counseling and/or other services.
The Prosecuting Attorney. (989-832-6722)
The Prosecuting Attorney’s job is to make the final decision about whether or not to charge a suspect with a crime. This decision is made after getting the report from the Law Enforcement Officer and looking at other factors such as: the age of the child and the suspect, whether or not there is evidence, and the ability of the witness to testify in court. The Prosecuting Attorney watches the interview behind a one-way glass window.
The Case Coordinator/Counselor. (989-835-9922)
The Case Coordinator/Counselor’s job is to help the child and parents/caregivers feel safe and supported the day of the interview and listen to their fears and/or concerns. The Case Coordinator/Counselor also helps the child and family connect with other community agencies for any other needs they may have. The Case Coordinator/Counselor contacts the family in the weeks following the interview to provide additional support.
The doctor and nurse’s job is to give a medical exam to a child if needed. The exam is normally done with a camera called a colposcope (cull-pa-scope). This camera is able to take pictures of a child’s private parts and magnify them. Sometimes the doctor or nurse may need to use a Q-tip and swab their private parts in order to collect body fluids. The exam is not painful and lets children know their bodies are okay.
For more information on any of our Multidisciplinary Team Partner Agencies, click below:
Links to partner agencies