A multidisciplinary team (MDT) was formed in 2003 to investigate child physical and sexual abuse. The purpose of the MDT is to minimize trauma to the victim and strengthen the prosecution of the defendant. The MDT cases are top priority for the Investigative Unit and all of our Investigators continue to receive specialized training in this area. The Investigative Unit of the Sheriff’s Office is only one piece of the MDT. Other team members consist of Law Enforcement (other local and state agencies) Mental Health, Medical, District Attorney’s Office and Child Protective Services and Victim’s Advocacy.
Madison County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)
In 2008 the program moved into its own facility, the Madison County CAC. The Center is located in a ranch style house off the county campus in the town of Lincoln. When the circumstances of an investigation permit, a case will be handled at the Center. This will allow the team to provide a family in crisis with all of its services at one location. The house is undergoing renovations at the present time to provide separate space for child and adolescent/teen interviews and pediatric forensic medical exams, a handicapped bathroom and a handicapped entrance ramp. The CAC is child-focused and designed to be less intimidating than an institutional office setting.
Team members currently housed at the Center are the CAC staff and two CPS investigators. The Sheriff’s Office is planning to have an investigator assigned to the Center each day, which will improve direct communication with team members. At the present time, when CPS needs an investigator, they contact the Sergeant or Lieutenant, and the first available investigator is assigned.
The team meets once a month at the CAC to review cases and share ideas, concerns and strategies.