Friends of the Child Advocacy Center

Child Abuse Prevention in Frederick County, Maryland

CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER

If you or someone you know is a victim of child abuse, call:

Child Protective Services — 301-600-2464 (8:00-4:00 pm); 301-564-8230 (after-4:00 pm)

Multidisciplinary Services for Child Abuse Victims and their families:

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center — 301-600-1758

Frederick City Police — 301-600-1857

Frederick County Sheriff’s Department — 301-600-6801

Maryland State Police Department — 301-739-2101

State’s Attorney Office — 301-600-2573

Victim Witness Coordinator — 301-600-2594

CAC HISTORY

The Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County (CAC) was established on November 30, 1999 with the approval of the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners. It was initially housed in a small office within the Health Department.

The Center has grown into a suite of offices, including two play areas, a medical suite, an interview room, an interview observation room, a counseling office, and administrative offices. Located in a county building convenient to bus lines, the CAC’s address is published only to those with appointments there to increase privacy and safety for the children coming to the Center. The CAC is part of a statewide network of child advocacy centers, the Maryland Children’s Alliance, and is nationally accredited through the National Children’s Alliance.

In 2004, a group of women active in the Frederick Woman’s Civic Club formed to support the work of the CAC through contributions of volunteer labor and fundraising. By 2006, they had formalized their group into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Friends of the CAC.

The Friends of the CAC continues to provide active support, and was honored at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, receiving the 2014 Team Excellence Award for community service. Current projects include awareness and outreach activities, maintenance of a Healing Garden to remember those children who have lost their lives to abuse, food and care for Heiress, our therapy dog, new furniture, toys and paint for the CAC, and ongoing financial support to help meet the material and therapeutic needs of the children and families who come here.

Staff:

Robin Grove, Director

Megan Hedges, Family Advocate

Kristen Dunn, Forensic Interviewer

Pamela Holtzinger, Forensic Nurse Examiner

Karla Paylor, Behavioral Developmental Pediatrician

Jennifer Veith, Licensed Professional Counselor

Arielle Bender, Office Manager

The mission of the Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County is to promote child well-being by providing a child and family focused center to address reports of child maltreatment. Together we seek to prevent and reduce trauma to children and families using a multidisciplinary approach to investigation, prosecution, treatment, education, and advocacy.

The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is a program of Frederick County Government. The CAC works collaboratively with community partners including the State’s Attorney’s Office, Department of Social Services, Frederick Police Department, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Frederick Memorial Hospital, City of Frederick, Heartly House, Frederick County Public Schools, Friends of the Child Advocacy Center, interns, local non-profit agencies, faith communities, businesses, and citizens. Services provided at the CAC that are available to referred children and their non-offending caregivers and family members include forensic interviews of children, pediatric medical examinations, counseling for children and non-offending caregivers, and advocacy.

For more information on the full range of services offered by CAC, check out their website and Facebook page.

CAC SERVICES

Official website: 

Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County

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.​

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