Northern Michigan Mobile Child Advocacy Center

Contact Northern michigan mobile cac

PO Box 225, Harrison, MI 48625

(989) 544-1103

The Northern MI Mobile CAC was piloted in January 2017 and is the State of Michigan’s first and only Mobile CAC. This 40’ mobile unit, accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, is one of only a handful in the country and is currently being successfully utilized in Missaukee and Gladwin Counties, with hopes to expand to reach other underserved counties in the
Lower Peninsula.

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a mobile child advocacy center

Our dreams of a mobile Child Advocacy Center have been accomplished! Thanks to the generosity of the Gerstacker and Walmart Foundations, NMAC – Clare Regional was able to purchase a 40 foot motorhome that was refitted into a child friendly, mobile center. It is specially designed and equipped with state-of-the-art recording equipment, a forensic interview room, a multidisciplinary team (MDT) room, and a child and family friendly waiting area. The "Barney Bus," as our MDT partners have lovingly named him, was piloted January of 2017 in Missaukee County. This mobile unit is fulfilling its purpose - travelling to rural areas where children and families may not have access to a child advocacy center.

Preparing for your visit

We understand that this is a scary time for you and your family. Here are some techniques designed to help you prepare your child for his or her visit to our center.

Overview of Programs

Forensic Interviewing

Forensic interviews are unbiased, non-leading, developmentally sensitive and legally sound conversations with a child, designed to solicit information about an incident that may have occurred. Facilitated by a nationally trained forensic interviewer, who is qualified in the State of Michigan Protocol, these forensic interviews are utilized in an effort to reduce trauma to a child. Viewed through closed-circuit television by a multidisciplinary team of professionals, these collaborative interviews allow all disciplines in the child welfare/investigative system to participate in the interview remotely, minimizing the number of times a child is questioned about their potential victimization.

At NMAC, referrals for forensic interviews are only accepted from law enforcement and/or child protective services. Both the center and the mobile unit are designed to be child- and family- friendly, and culturally and developmentally sensitive. Forensic interviews are conducted at no cost to any agency, family, or caregiver. The interview allows the youth to tell their story in their own words in a non-threatening and non-traumatic setting .

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Family/Victim Advocacy

We know that in many cases, the non-offending caregiver and other family members need as much, if not more support than the child victim themselves. Family/Victim advocacy services are provided to all children who are forensically interviewed, as well as their non-offending caregivers, regardless of ability to pay. The family advocate orients the family to either the stand alone center or the mobile unit, explains what will occur during the appointment, and answers any questions the caregiver or child may have. While the youth is being interviewed, the family advocate will provide education, crisis intervention, referrals to service, or merely lend a listening ear for the non-offending caregiver(s).

At NMAC, we are strong believers in building up caregivers so they can be as supportive and strong as possible for the youth involved in the investigation. No one can pour from an empty cup. Following the interview, the family advocate will follow up with the non-offending caregiver and youth as often as needed by the family. They are also able to provide updates on the investigation, if available, and assist caregivers in seeking out resources for their family. This can be done over the phone or in-person.

Canine Advocacy

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Trigger

Our lovable Canine Advocate

Trigger joined NMAC from the Michigan Canine Advocacy Program (CAP). CAP partners with Leader Dog for the Blind to provide facility dogs to courthouses, Child Advocacy Centers, and more. Canine advocates are able to assist children in calming their anxiety and fears, and to bring something positive to a bad situation. Trigger's main interests are treats, belly rubs, and walks. He comes to work every day to help bring hope, healing, and justice to the kids of Clare, Gladwin, and Missaukee Counties! NMAC was happy to partner with the Clare County Prosecutor's Office so Trigger can be a constant presence for kids from the time of their appointment at the CAC all the way through the court process.

If you'd like to join Team Trigger along with local businesses such as Johnston Elevator, Doggy Dipity Doos, and Old 27 Veterinary Clinic and sponsor Trigger in some way, please see our "tail wagging wish list" located in the “give back” section. If you'd like to meet Trigger or have him available for an event, please contact Eriana at edeka@mikids.org.