suspect abuse? donate

CAC Core Services

Forensic interviews

Highly-specialized interviewers create safety for a child while asking non-leading, neutral questions about what happened to them. Interviews are videotaped, collecting effective evidence and helping reduce the amount of times a child has to talk about their experiences.

Medical exams

Medical examiners with specialized training in child abuse assessment conduct head-to-toe physical examinations accompanied by a medical interview.

Family advocacy

Advocates assist the family during the traumatic, life-altering experience of uncovering child abuse. Advocates support families, help coordinate victim services, and are available as needs arise following the assessment.

Centers provide many additional services for children and community members, including community trainings and mental health supports. Please find your local center to learn more about the services they provide.

learn more

20 centers
serve all 36 counties, four more centers are developing
7,895 children
per year are seen at centers for concerns of all forms of abuse
78% of kids
seen are 12 years old and younger

FAQs

Which children and families do you serve?

Abuse happens in all communities and in all income brackets. We serve children and families of all backgrounds and cultures. Generally, our centers serve children and teens ages 0 – 17. Each center’s intake processes are different, so please reach out to your local center.

There is no “typical” child or family that utilizes a center. Children can be involved in foster care or in safe, protective homes. They may have been victimized by a teacher, coach, or another child.

What if my child discloses to me?

Take a deep breath, you’ve come to the right place. If there is ever a chance that a child has been abused, it is best to seek help. We encourage you to reach out to your local center, police department, or call the child welfare hotline. If you think your child may need to be seen right now, try your local center. If the center does not have availability, go to the closest Emergency Room. Your local center can give more specific assistance and direction.

Who refers children to a center?

This can vary by center, but most families are referred by local law enforcement or child welfare workers. Parents are welcome to call their local center directly. It is also common for a child’s primary care provider to make a report of potential abuse and suggest a child goes to a center.

Do you charge families?

As a statewide practice, centers never charge families for child abuse assessment services. Other services, such as therapy, may include copayments or sliding scale fees.

Are the staff of centers mandatory reporters?

The professionals within centers are mandatory reporters, responsible for reporting abuse 24/7.

How can I help this service be available to more children in Oregon?

Thanks for asking. Please let us know more about your experience by filling out the form on the Contact page. Other ways to contribute are to volunteer, get trained, advocate, or donate.

What is a multidisciplinary team?

Each of Oregon’s 36 counties have a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This team is made up of professionals tasked with responding to child abuse in a collaborative and coordinated manner. The MDT includes law enforcement, child welfare, schools, local health departments, mental health providers, children’s advocacy center staff, and, when available, juvenile department representatives.

What is a designated medical provider?

By statute, every county in Oregon has a designated medical provider (DMP) who assesses for child abuse within that county. This DMP is readily available to respond to Karly’s Law, concerning cases that involve physical injuries to a child. Every center either employs the county’s DMP, is considered the county’s DMP, or refers children to the county’s DMP. OCAS works with DMPs serving every county to provide connection, resources, and professional development.

What if a child goes to a center but does not disclose?

When children are abused they experience a loss of control over their own experiences and decisions. It can be debilitating for them to feel powerless. It’s our intention to give children control back when they come to a center. Sometimes children do not disclose and sometimes they walk into our doors and walk right back out. We strive to be a resource which helps children have a safe space for their voices. Disclosure for many children is a process that can take time. It is not uncommon for children to leave a center without disclosing and then disclose at a later appointment.

Why are interviews recorded?

Centers employ forensic interviewers who are trained to elicit comprehensive disclosure in a trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate way. We know discussing abuse is difficult for children. Our centers reduce trauma experienced by a child by recording interviews so that they do not have to be interviewed again. Some MDT partners view the interview in-person. If they are unable to attend, they may view the recording later. These recorded interviews are highly protected and provide a snapshot into the experiences of the child at the time of disclosure. This is useful, especially when trials often take many years.