What We Do

Child First Advocacy Center (CFAC)

We provide a safe and supportive environment to assist victims and their families in the discovery, intervention, treatment, and prevention of child sexual abuse.

Our staff is a team of trained professionals with a shared vision to minimize the traumatic effects of child abuse. Our first priority is to ensure the safety of the child and their non-offending family members. Our focus is the child. CFAC offers children and their families:

· Assessment and Investigation

· Multi-agency support system

· Protection

· Education

· Hope and Healing

CFAC is one of hundreds of child advocacy centers found throughout the United States.  CFAC is a place where children who may have been sexually or physically abused can be interviewed in an environment designed with their comfort in mind.  We provide consistent and fast follow up to abuse reports and a connection to other agencies and services for support and healing.  The process involves a team of professionals from several agencies.  All services are confidential.

We recognize that talking about abuse is very difficult. We are trained to talk to kids about difficult subjects. We are here to help you determine what has or has not happened to your child, and protect them from further abuse. Our services are available to both victims and the non-offending family members. The services that are available and necessary to handle a report of child abuse often include:

· Trained & experienced interviewers

· Medical professionals

· Child protective services

· Mental health professionals

· Law enforcement

· Victim advocacy, and

· Prosecution, if applicable

This comprehensive and multi-agency support approach prevents further victimization and trauma while protecting the victim.

During the mid 1990's, the number of child sexual abuse reports greatly increased nationally.  In 1998, a Rutland County multi-disciplinary task force convened to address the issue.  The task force determined that a Child Advocacy Center was the most comprehensive and effective solution.

Legislation in Vermont was amended and adopted in 2009.  The overall intent of the legislation was to provide all citizens of the state of Vermont access to Special Investigative Units to enhance prevention efforts, investigations and prosecutions of sexual abuse and improve supervision of sexual offenders.  The Special Investigation Units are designed to partner with child advocacy centers.  The Rutland Unit of Special Investigators (RUSI) is co-located at the Rutland CFAC office.

Vermont Special Investigative Units are task forces dedicated to providing criminal investigations in response to reports of sexual assaults and serious child abuse.  The professionals in the units are specially trained to deal with the unique and sensitive nature of the crimes.  RUSI is the unit serving Rutland County.  Two detectives are assigned to the Rutland Unit.  Additionally, the department for Children and Families has assigned a full-time investigator also located in the Rutland CFAC office.  These co-located services ensures a dramatic reduction in the number of victim interviews, increased successful prosecutions and consistent and compassionate support.

What Can We Do For Your Child?

· Provide a comfortable, safe place for your child to tell about the abuse;

· Limit the number of times, and the number of people your child will have to talk to about the abuse;

· Help you communicate with all the professionals involved in the case;

· Provide support and information to your family;

· Help prepare you and your child for court, should that be necessary.


What Can’t the Child First Advocacy Center Do For Your Child?

· Guarantee that the case will be prosecuted. The interview is the child’s statement to the police and the child protective investigation. It is only one part of the investigation. Many factors need to be considered before someone is charged with a crime.

· Prevent your child from having to testify in court.



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