The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Putnam County is a child- and family-focused facility, providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary services to children suspected of being abused.
The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Putnam County was established in 1999 to provide a child-friendly setting where child abuse allegations are handled in a coordinated way to minimize additional trauma to the young victims. More than 3,000 children and their families have been helped since the CAC opened its doors.
The CAC provides a child-friendly setting, putting the child and family at ease while coordinating the essential services of forensic interviews, medical evaluations, mental health assessment and victim support and advocacy. The CAC is deeply committed to serving child victims with sensitivity, understanding, competence and compassion.
Allegations of child sexual abuse, serious physical abuse, and domestic violence involving or witnessed by children are investigated by the CAC’s specially trained multidisciplinary team (MDT). Members of the MDT include law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, specialized child protective service workers, medical and mental health providers, victim advocates, CAC staff. Cases are referred to the CAC by law enforcement, child protective services or the district attorney’s office.
Safe Harbour (Human Trafficking)
Safe Harbour Putnam County identifies trafficked youth and those at risk of being trafficked. Safe Harbour is a victim-centered, strength-based program that provides services to trafficked and at-risk youth, their families and caregivers, such as trauma-informed mental health services, case management, psychiatric care, emergency and long term shelter, substance abuse treatment, immigration assistance, legal advocacy, educational and vocational assistance, and other services as needed.
Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT)
The Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT) of the CAC of Putnam County is fully approved by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, under Section 422-b and Section 20(5) of Social Services Law, and as such is mandated to regularly review all deaths of children residing in Putnam County.The purpose and goals of the CFRT are to prevent future deaths and promote child safety.
Suicide Prevention Task Force
The CAC has been involved in these efforts to bring light to the suicide epidemic in the county. Through partnering with others in the community, we are hoping not only to raise awareness about the rising numbers of local suicides but also to examine the cause, manner, and circumstances of a suicide to address possible trends and save lives. Suicide is preventable.