What to expect when you visit the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC)
You will first be contacted by phone, by the Family Services Coordinator from the CAC. They will help set up your appointment time, ask if you or your child have any special considerations (cultural considerations, interpreter services or other needs) and make sure you have proper directions to the Thayer Center for Health Campus of MaineGeneral in Waterville. The Family Services Coordinator will also answer any questions that the family may have at this time.
Once the interview is complete, the child is reunited with their non-offending caregiver in the family room. The team will meet briefly and then invite the non-offending caregiver back to the conference room. The team will meet with the non-offending caregiver to talk about next steps in the investigation and also to answer any questions that the non-offending caregiver may have. The team members will also share their contact information with the non-offending caregiver at this time. While the post-interview meeting is happening, the child is with the Family Services Coordinator doing child-friendly activities.
Next, the Forensic Interviewer will get the child from the family room and invite them into the interview room. The child and the interviewer are in one room and the rest of the team is in the conference room observing on a closed circuit monitor. While the child is being interviewed, the non-offending caregiver meets with the Family Services Coordinator and possibly an advocate in the family room, to discuss the needs of the family and to make any appropriate referrals for medical follow up, mental health services or other services that may be available to the family. The non-offending caregiver is not allowed to view the interview.
When you arrive at the Thayer Center for Health Campus of MaineGeneral, you will be greeted in the lobby by the MaineGeneral Volunteers (usually wearing blue jackets) and they will accompany you to the CAC offices. Once you are at the CAC, you will spend a few minutes with the Family Services Coordinator getting settled in the family room. Soon after you arrive, the Forensic Interviewer will invite the non-offending caretaker (s) into the conference room where you will have a chance to meet the team, see where your child will be interviewed and ask any questions that you may have at that time. Your child (or children ) stays with the Family Services Coordinator and possibly one of our advocates. Once the pre-interview meeting has happened, the non-offending caregiver will go back to the family room.
The family will leave the CAC with a packet of information and copies of any referrals that were made. The Family Services Coordinator will follow up with the non-offending caregivers in a week and again in a month. The non-offending caregivers also have the option of a follow up with the Client Support Services Manager for support during the rest of the case and beyond. She will call within a few days of the interview to see if there are any questions and if there is interest in setting up further contact for support for the caregivers and/or child.