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Services at Child Advocacy Center of Aiken

kids on playground

The primary purpose of the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is to minimize trauma to child victims of maltreatment and sexual abuse, to improve the collaboration of community agencies, and to prevent child abuse. 

This is accomplished through the provision of the following services:

Forensic Interviews

The forensic interview is provided by staff trained in the structured interview protocol called “Child First.” This is a child-friendly, legally sound method of interviewing. This information is shared with law enforcement, the Department of Social Services, and the Solicitor’s Office as needed. This process prevents the child from being interviewed multiple times.

Medical Examinations

The medical provider does a thorough examination to address any health concerns and to gather evidence related to the abuse. Referrals are made when appropriate.

 Multidisciplinary Team Staffing (MDT)

The Aiken MDT meets bi-weekly to discuss each child that had a forensic interview. The Aiken MDT members include the following: 

  • Solicitor’s Office, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office
  • Aiken Department of Public Safety
  •  North Augusta Public Safety
  • DSS (caseworkers and attorneys)
  • Cumbee Center to Assist  Abused Persons
  • Children’s Place, Inc.
  • Helping Hands, Inc.
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Aiken County School District
  • Guardian Ad Litem Office
  • Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center
  • Aiken County Office of Victim’s Assistance
  • and other persons upon special request.

The Barnwell MDT meets monthly for a similar staffing. The Barnwell MDT members include the following:  

  • Solicitor’s Office
  • DSS caseworkers and supervisors
  • Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Barnwell Police Department
  • Polly Best Mental Health Center
  • and other persons upon special request.  

The dynamics of each case are reviewed and an action plan is developed to meet the needs of the child. The information gathered is also used to assist with the prosecution of perpetrators.

 Counseling

Counseling is provided at the CAC for children who are victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and severe neglect.  When appropriate, referrals are made to outside agencies.  The majority of the therapy provided is trauma-focused. 

 Prevention Efforts

Training is available for interested community persons and agencies on “Stewards of Children,” a child sexual abuse prevention program.  Training may be scheduled by contacting Gayle Lofgren at the CAC office, 644-5100.

 

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