The Friends of the Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center (MCCAC) is a volunteer driven 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to raise funds to complete construction of the child friendly facility by continuing to develop community awareness and to support a coordinated response to child abuse.
Formed in 2003 by a group of individuals in the Mommouth County community, the Friends sought to raise the funds needed to build a full service Child Advocacy Center in Monmouth County. The County donated land on Kozloski Road in Freehold, NJ and the project was begun. A Child Advocacy Center (CAC) offers an integrated, multidisciplinary, child-friendly approach to the investigation and treatment of sexual and physical abuse of children.
Phase One of the Capital Campaign was completed in June 2009 and since then the MCCAC has served more than 400 cases of child abuse each year. The Friends is now embarking on a final effort to complete the project. $1.8 million is needed to expand the facility to include a medical suite, therapy rooms and additional office space.
What are the Benefits of a CAC?
The main benefit of a CAC is that with the multidisciplinary team approach we are able to greatly reduce a child’s trauma and fear. A child need visit only one location and tell his/her story one time. The healing process can begin almost immediately.
Children currently find most needed services at the Monmounth County Child Advocacy Center (MCCAC). The last step in offering a true multidisciplinary team approach is the addition of space for pediatric forensic medical exams and ongoing counseling services. With medical services located onsite at the MCCAC, children will receive the immediate medical attention they need. The added support enables the MCCAC to fully assist our most vulnerable population.
There are economic benefits to completing the MCCAC as well. Cases served by a full multidisciplinary team are 36% less costly than non CAC cases. The cost per case per 1,000 children is approximately 41% lower in CAC communities.
Who Makes Up the Multidisciplinary Team?
Six disciplines make up a multidisciplinary team (MDT): Law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals, victim advocates and the CAC support staff.
Through this approach facts about the case are gathered efficiently, team members can share information and thus communication is improved. Team members feel this approach improves timely evidence gathering, and with the prosecutor involved early on in cases, more successful prosecution outcomes are realized.
For the children and their families the collaboration encourages coordinated intervention, reducing additional trauma for the innocent victims while improving services.
With the completion of Phase One we have been able to provide full-time or shared space for about 45% of the full needs of the multidisciplinary team. This final phase will provide the space needed for the ongoing roles of the team; immediate medical exams, victim advocacy meetings and much needed therapy for victims and their families.