The heart of Children’s Cove is the multidisciplinary team. The team represents a variety of agencies within the community. When brought together, team members share a common goal—to support children and families during the investigation of suspected child abuse. Through interagency agreements, child protection workers, law enforcement officers, mental health providers, medical providers, advocates, and prosecutors work together—combining professional skills and knowledge to create a more complete understanding of care issues and, ultimately, a more supportive response.
A coordinated interview with the alleged child victim is central to the work of Children’s Cove. All forensic interviews, medical examinations, and assessments are conducted in a child-friendly environment by professionals specially trained in child abuse investigations. This minimizes the need for numerous interviews and provisions of services in different locations.
The team looks at each step of the system from a child’s point of view. This creates a response that takes into account the special needs of already traumatized children and their families.
A community that responds to child abuse through appropriate intervention provides hope and healing for children, and encourages families to reach their full potential.
In the time we have been using the team approach:
- The average length of the investigation has been reduced.
- Coordination has cut down on the duplication of efforts.
- Prosecutors are more successful as they encourage proper and expedient collection for physical evidence in each step of the process.
- More accurate assessments of each reported incidence.
- Families are able to regain a more normal life sooner because of effective investigations.
- Stress and fear have been reduced.
Multidisciplinary Team Members include:
- The Department of Children and Families
Children’s Cove Staff
- Forensic Interviewers
- Extended Forensic Interviewers
- Family Advocate
- Local and state police departments
- Cape Cod Healthcare MA
- Pediatric SANE Program
- Cape & Islands District Attorney