For information from the Colorado Department of Human Services on child abuse and neglect, please visit https://sites.google.com/a/state.co.us/cdhs-dcw/reportchildabuse/.
Historically, child victims of abuse were required to tell their story multiple times to different agencies. This forced them to relive their traumatic experiences, creating undue stress and hindering their recovery process.
DCAC is child-focused and coordinates the multidisciplinary team (MDT) of first responders to reports of child abuse in the Denver metro area:
- Denver Police Department
- Denver District Attorney’s Office
- Denver Department of Human Services
- Denver Health
The multidisciplinary approach draws on all of the agencies’ collective wisdom and expertise to provide crisis management for child victims and their families and to improve criminal investigations.
Children and their needs are at the center of the MDT’s work - police, prosecutors, social workers and medical staff come to DCAC to mitigate the child’s trauma, coordinate medical and mental health care, and provide ongoing support for families as the case moves through the justice system.
Forensic interviews are of vital importance in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault and other crimes against children. DCAC’s highly qualified, neutral forensic interviewers interview Child victims in a warm, welcoming child-friendly facility. This helps mitigate their trauma while police and prosecutors watch the interviews in observation rooms.
Victim Advocates are there for the family from the time they arrive at DCAC until the case has concluded. We provide immediate crisis counseling, ongoing support throughout the criminal investigation, and referrals to treatment and community resources. First responders are on call around the clock to help families in crisis, and to support our colleagues on the multidisciplinary team.
Integrated Medical Care
A doctor and medical assistant are onsite two days a week to conduct immediate medical examinations for children where abuse is suspected. Many young victims also suffer from lack of primary medical and dental care, which exacerbates their trauma. DCAC coordinates referrals to ensure they receive the integrated medical and mental health care that is essential to healing.