CASI

Coordination, Advocacy and Sensitive Interviewing (CASI)

The goal of CAC’s CASI program is to reduce further trauma for child victims of abuse and hold offenders accountable to their actions. Prior to the existence of Children’s Advocacy Centers, children were expected to retell their story of abuse over and over again to the very professionals that were trying to help them. Today, children have the opportunity to tell their abuse experience ONE TIME in a comfortable and safe atmosphere at the CAC.

How Does It Work?

Coordination

Approximately 400 new cases of child abuse allegations are called into the CAC each year. In typical cases, the CAC’s Intake Coordinator pulls together information for both the family and the multidisciplinary team assigned to the case. This team is often comprised of CAC representatives, local law enforcement, DCFS investigators and members of the State’s Attorney’s office.

Sensitive Interviewing

All of our Forensic Interviewers are Master’s level social workers and psychologists with specific training in child development, children’s memory/suggestibility, and trauma. The forensic interviewer elicits the facts from the child by asking non-leading and non-suggestive questions to allow the child to tell his or her story. All interviews are recorded and are observed by members of the multidisciplinary team.

Advocacy

Once the interview process is complete, families are offered follow-up services free of charge to assist them as they navigate through the healing process. Children may have the opportunity to participate in short-term counseling or a survivor group. Parents and non-offending caregivers also have access to crisis or short-term counseling, psycho-educational groups and parent support groups.

CAC court advocates are available to assist families as they prepare for and attend court proceedings. Medical advocacy is available for children requiring a specialized medical evaluation. Resources not available at the CAC are provided so families can access local community agencies for assistance. All services are offered in English, Spanish and Polish.