You and your child have been asked to come to the Memphis Child Advocacy Center (CAC) because child abuse has been suspected and reported, and is now being investigated. The CAC houses the professionals who will help you and your child with the investigation, the healing process and other needs.
The first step in the investigation is usually a forensic interview. CAC interviewers are compassionate and highly trained. They talk to children and teens at their developmental level. Interviews are neutral and kid-friendly.
You will also meet with an investigator. In Shelby County, most of the investigators from law enforcement and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services are located at the Child Advocacy Center.
When you come to the Memphis CAC, you’ll learn about other services, like therapy and advocacy, which may help you and your child during this time.
In some cases, a forensic medical exam will be needed. Forensic medical exams are conducted at the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center. If you are told that your child needs a forensic medical exam, your investigator or advocate will help you schedule an appointment.
The Memphis CAC is based on a nationally recognized model of care. The child advocacy center model has been shown to be a more child-friendly, effective community response to reported child abuse. We ask parents and caregivers about their experience at the center on a regular basis. Here is what some had to say:
"We are so thankful for everyone here and all of the support and encouragement. Everyone here is so kind and welcoming."
"My daughter is opening up more. She smiles, laughs, as well as watches movies with the family. No more shutting down."
"I can never fully repay you for giving us a soft place to land when we felt as though our world was falling apart, but I can try."