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Henrico County officials signed an agreement with SCAN’s Child Advocacy Center (CAC) to create a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) in January 2013. County officials and child abuse investigators partner with the CAC to investigate, treat, and prosecute cases of child abuse and neglect in Henrico.
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Nancy Oglesby was a key advocate for Henrico County’s commonwealth’s attorney office, Child Protective Services and police department to take the steps to learn more about how to get involved formally with the CAC. Nancy is also a member of SCAN’s Board of Directors.
After these departments learned about the benefits of working with the CAC, other key child serving agencies, such as St. Mary’s Hospital, began to form the foundation of an MDT.
Together, they signed an Interagency Agreement, which ensures that Henrico County responds to cases of child abuse and neglect in the most efficient and productive ways, all of which are based on a nationally accredited model. The agreement also details the ways in which the CAC can support and lead that important work. The CAC has formal agreements in Chesterfield, Louisa, Henrico, Prince George and Richmond. Each interagency agreement and protocol differ, though, because they are tied to their local government procedures, cultural environment and geographic considerations.
Henrico had begun using the CAC’s services long before they signed this agreement with the CAC.
“We offered their investigators a space where children could be interviewed by a trained forensic interviewer,” Ian said.
The CAC also videotaped these interviews so that children would only need to be interviewed once. Investigators could also have more time to deliberate as the CAC helped improve their overall capacity to help children. Since the formal agreement, the CAC has helped with the investigation and treatment of 57 cases of possible child abuse or neglect.
“Henrico agencies have undertaken the partnership with a full commitment,” Ian said. “They come to peer review meetings, they try new things, have been improving their case development and are overall very professional.”
SCAN is excited about this new partnership and looks forward to helping more children in Henrico.