One child. One place. One time.
The words “child abuse” are chilling and scary. Especially if you know the victim or a family suffering through this unspeakable tragedy. You know it’s always most important to do the right thing to help the child.
Abuse investigations threaten to not only re-traumatize a child with repeated interviews, but also risk tainting the child’s testimony and damaging the case against the offender.
In 2010, PA’s substantiated child abuse rate remained the lowest in the nation at 1.3 per 1,000 children.
--The Protect Our Children Committee, protectpachildren.org
Geisinger is there
Making child abuse investigations easier on victims
A division of our Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, The Child Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania (CAC/NEPA) is a private, non-profit, charity that’s redefining the assessment and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Children and Youth Services, physicians and law enforcement officials refer cases to the CAC when it’s appropriate.
CAC conducts forensic interviews during medical examinations, crisis counseling and ongoing case tracking to help limit the number of interviews a child has to face during an abuse investigation.
This way, any agency seeking answers in a child abuse case can become a part of the investigative team, observe forensic interviews and actively discuss important aspects of the case. This method both respects the child’s health and emotional well-being, as well as increases the chances of the abuser’s successful prosecution.
Help by the numbers
The designated child abuse center for Lackawanna County, the CAC/NEPA also provides Forensic Medical Assessments and Forensic Interviews for cases referred from Monroe, Wayne, Carbon Susquehanna, Luzerne, Pike and Wyoming counties. During 2011 and half of 2012, The CAC/NEPA has completed 795 cases in Lackawanna County; 164 cases in Monroe County ; 72 in Wayne County; 60 in Carbon County; 32 in Susquehanna County; 35 in Luzerne County; 28 in Pike County; and 21 in Wyoming County.
- Forensic medical assessments
- Forensic interviews
- Trauma therapy / Counseling coordination
- Child advocacy services
- Medical services for juvenile detainees
- Child abuse prevention education
- Professional consultation