Children's Advocacy Center
Madison County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)
Located at 1068 Northside Shopping Center, Oneida, NY, 13421 / 315-363-2816
The Madison County Children's Advocacy Center (MCCAC) facilitates a collaborative and trauma-sensitive system response to Madison County's most serious child abuse reports. The Center is a child-focused, neutral environment that brings together agencies and service providers to help child victims and families deal with the trauma of and heal from child abuse. Through a coordinated response and shared information, the program strives to reduce the stress and anxiety that the system can cause to children and families, hold offenders accountable and help children and families develop hope for the future. Members to make this possible include the Investigative Unit of the Sheriff's Office, Law Enforcement (other local and state agencies), Mental Health, District Attorney's Office, Child Protective Services, and Victim's Advocacy.
History of the CAC
In 2003, a Multi-Disciplinary Team in Madison County was created to investigate and provide a county-wide consistent response to child physical and sexual abuse cases. A child victim is a person under the age of 18. The MDT team is comprised of various disciplines which are key to the investigative process and have specialized training to interact with the victim and to manage the investigation. These disciplines include Law Enforcement, Child Protective, Mental Health, Medical, Prosecution and Advocacy. Specific agencies are listed under current MDT members. A Program Director and Administrative Assistance staffed the program and facilitated the team process. Several community agencies offered a safe space for law enforcement and child protective to interview the child/teen.
In 2008, the Madison County Children's Advocacy Center found a home to grow in offered by the Department of Social Services on Buyea Road in Canastota. This was the birth of the first CAC in Madison County. Since then the CAC moved to downtown Oneida. When a referral comes to law enforcement and/or child protective, the child and family come to the location as do all the agencies involved in the initial stage. The purpose of the center is to bring all the necessary agencies into one place to reduce trauma and retelling of painful and uncomfortable events. The CAC location allows team members to provide the best response and support to the child. To increase the response and support in 2014 the Family Advocate position was added to the staff to to provide information to the caregivers of the victim.
The team meets once a month at the CAC to review cases and share ideas, concerns and strategies.