CAC Services

The State of Maryland has demonstrated its commitment to child well-being through mandating the establishment of Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) throughout the state to facilitate working agreements between agencies responsible for responding to child maltreatment. Our CAC’s multidisciplinary team includes law enforcement officers, social workers, attorneys, medical professionals, and counselors through the Department of Social Services, State’s Attorney’s Office, Frederick Police Department, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Maryland State Police, other municipal police departments, and Frederick County Government. Case reviews are held at least twice per month, providing a formal opportunity for these partners to share information and coordinate services to meet the needs of the children and families involved.

The CAC is a department within the Citizens Services Division of Frederick County Government, and is funded through county funds, state and federal grants, and citizen donations. The CAC’s policies and procedures were written using the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Standards for Accredited Members. Our facility was decorated and furnished by the Friends of the CAC.

Programs

The Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County provides a physically and emotionally safe, comfortable, private setting for children and their non-offending family members to access services when maltreatment is suspected. The location is secure, so only those children and families scheduled to come to the Center are allowed to enter. We value diversity and strive to offer accessible services in culturally competent, respectful ways. There is never a charge for services provided at the CAC.

Children coming to the CAC have the opportunity to tell their stories to professionals trained in child forensic interviewing protocols while family members and caregivers meet with the CAC Advocate to learn more about available services and supports.  Counseling (on-site or through referrals to other behavioral health providers) is offered as needed and medical examinations are available two days per week.

 Forensic Interviews

 The CAC offers a private room for children to talk to specially-trained interviewers. These interviews are conducted in a neutral manner, and are designed to be observed by other involved professionals through a video feed into an adjacent room. This helps to avoid having more than one interviewer in the room with the child while also helping to prevent the need for multiple, duplicative interviews.

Staff:

Lynn Davis, Director

Kristen Dunn, Forensic Interviewer

Athena Edsall, Administrative Specialist V

Pamela Holtzinger, Forensic Nurse Examiner

Meaghan Tarquinio, Family Advocate

Karla Paylor, Behavioral Developmental Pediatrician

Jennifer Veith, Licensed Professional Counselor