The only agency of its kind in Suffolk County, the Children's Advocacy Center of Suffolk County (CAC) was founded in 1995, uniting more than 25 child-serving agencies and representing a true alliance between the private and public sectors for the most effective service delivery to children exposed to violence and their families.
The Children's Advocacy Center coordinates a multidisciplinary team including social workers, advocates, police, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals and others to provide high-quality, specialized services for abused children and their families - in one child-friendly center. Located within the Family Justice Center of Boston (in space donated by the City of Boston), the CAC provides a team of expert professionals to reduce stress and improve outcomes throughout the child abuse investigation, intervention and healing process.
From the Executive Director:
Each year in Suffolk County, over 1100 child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and commercial sexual exploitation are referred to the CAC for help.
Before the Suffolk CAC opened its doors, child abuse victims and their families were bounced from one agency to another - from the child welfare office to the police department to the hospital, to the prosecutor's office - repeatedly telling their stories of abuse. The criminal justice system, a system primarily designed for adult perpetrators not child victims, lacked coordination between police, child protective services, prosecution, mental health and medical agencies. Duplication of efforts, along with multiple unnecessary and traumatic interviews for the children, was the norm.
The Children's Advocacy Center of Suffolk County has transformed this process, providing a child-friendly setting where a skilled team of professionals come together under one room to investigate serious child abuse allegations, conduct forensic interviews to determine what happened, and provide medical care, therapy, and victim advocacy to child abuse victims - always keeping the best interest of the child in mind.