Great Circle’s Ozark Foothills Child Advocacy Center (CAC) provides compassionate forensic interviewing and SAFE-CARE examinations in alleged child/sexual abuse and all abuse situations. The CAC also provides advocacy and support to child victims and non-offending parents/caregivers, and referrals to mental health counseling.
Combatting Child Abuse
No child should have to experience physical or sexual abuse. Yet, in Missouri, there are more than 68,000 cases of such abuse reported each year.
The Ozark Foothills CAC is one of 16 centers in Missouri established by state statute to serve children who have been victimized or witnessed alleged abuse. The CAC provides a safe environment to help children receive help and support when abuse happens. It works with reported cases in nine southeast Missouri counties – Butler, Carter, Iron, Oregon, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, Stoddard and Wayne.
Operating since 2003, it is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, which is the primary accrediting agency for children’s advocacy centers across the country.
Great Circle’s specially trained staff conduct about 200 interviews and child assessments each year. The staff works with local law enforcement and healthcare professionals as needed.
The CAC staff provides:
- Compassionate, trauma-focused interviews and examinations in a child-friendly setting. The focus is on gathering facts, evidence and information about the alleged incident in an age-appropriate way.
- Direct and indirect advocacy help and support to both child victims and non-offending parents and caregivers.
- SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Exams) and CARE (Child at Risk Exams) appointments with a trained Nurse Practitioner or referral to other providers as needed.
- Referrals to mental health counseling.
- Monthly facilitated Multidisciplinary Team meetings. These collaborative meetings provide an avenue to share information about the well-being of the child and family, case specifics and investigative updates, and ways to better help the child or family navigate the criminal justice process.
All CAC services and information is kept strictly confidential.
The CAC staff includes forensic interviewers, child/family advocates and Nurse Practitioner, specially trained to provide guidance and support for both the child and family during a difficult time.
Forensic interviewers have completed rigorous course work, shadowed trained interviewers, and successfully conducted mock interviews. Advocates have completed their rigorous training and earned national certification. The Nurse Practitioner is board-certified with special child abuse/neglect training. All staff is required to undergo additional training each year.
The Ozark Foothills CAC’s current staff has an average of seven years of experience working with children and families.