Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bring my child directly to the CAC if I suspect he/she has been abused?
No. Any time an allegation of abuse occurs, law enforcement or child protective services must be involved. The CAC does not actually investigate the alleged abuse, we simply provide services to collect the evidence for an investigation. Because of this, we cannot interview children without the coordinated approach of the multidisciplinary team.
What happens when we arrive?
When you arrive at the Center, you will be shown to our family room. This room is furnished with items to make your child feel safe and comfortable in his/her surroundings. An advocate will speak to you to explain the process and process some paperwork. This advocate is a resource for your family if you have questions or are in need of services. They will perform regular case reviews to track the progression of your case. If you choose, the advocate may also provide follow-up calls to keep you informed of any updates.
How to I prepare my child for his/her appointment?
It is best that your child is prepared for their visit to our center. Please DO NOT lie to your child about where they are going. Explain that they are coming to a special place to talk to a friend about something that may have happened to them. For example, "I'm going to bring you to talk to one of my friends about (what happened to you/what you saw) at Uncle Bill's house." If your child has not disclosed information before, you can tell them they are coming to talk with a friend who wants to make sure they are happy and safe. Encourage your child that it is ok for them to talk with us, and you want them to be honest.
Can I talk to my child about what happened?
No. We understand that allegations are often shocking and upsetting, but remember it is not your job to get the facts. Allow your child to come to you if they want to talk with you about the situation, but do not feel like you need to get details. Try to minimize the amount of questions you ask of them. Be receptive, but don't pry. Children are very susceptible to suggestive questioning, and unless you are trained, try to leave the details to our forensic interviewers.
Do I have to pay for any of the services my child receives?
No. As we are a non-profit organization, there is never any fees for the services your child receives.
Who do I call if I suspect a child is being abused?
855-444-3911. This 24-hour, toll-free phone number allows you to report abuse or neglect of any child or adult to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Who will be talking to my child?
Your child will talk to a Forensic Interviewer. She has extensive training and experience in talking to children in a developmentally-appropriate, unbiased, non-leading manner.
Can I watch the interview?
No. Only the child and the interviewer are allowed in the interview room, and only members of the multidisciplinary team are allowed in the observation room.
How long will the interview take?
The length of a Forensic Interview is determined by the needs of the child. The average interview lasts about 30 minutes depending upon the child’s age and developmental abilities. Adolescent interviews could last longer than 30 minutes.
What happens after the interview is over?
At the end of your visit, you will have the opportunity to talk to the multidisciplinary team. You may ask questions and express your concerns. They will let you know, in general terms, what they have learned from the interview and how they plan to proceed with the investigation. If you choose, the advocate will keep you informed of the progress of your case and help your family receive any needed services.