In January 1990, a Child Sexual Abuse Task Force was established in Oneida County. In 1998, the Task Force was renamed the Child Advocacy Center (CAC). The CAC handles investigations of child sexual abuse in which the victim is under 17 years of age.
The Oneida County Department of Social Services developed the CAC in conjunction with the Oneida County District Attorney, and the four major law enforcement agencies in the County, the New York State Police, Oneida County Sheriff's Department, Utica Police Department and the Rome Police Department. In addition to investigators from these agencies, a Child Protective Supervisor and Child Protective Caseworkers round out the investigative staff. Forensic medical examinations are provided by trained medical professionals. Personnel from the YWCA Mohawk Valley, the Neighborhood Center, Inc., and the Center For Family Life and Recovery are available to provide support to victims of abuse. The Child Advocacy Center is overseen by the Oneida County Sheriff's Chief Deputy (Task Force).
The Oneida County CAC initiates over 700 investigations each year. Where evidence warrants, criminal arrests are made and or Family Court Petitions are filed.
The CAC Goals are:
- Reduce the trauma to child victims during the investigative and court processes.
- Gather better evidence to pursue criminal indictments and prosecutions.
- Maintain records of reports, arrests, and convictions.
- Provide on-going training to the CAC staff and other service providers.
- Public service presentations to the community.
- Increase the number of victims, secondary victims and perpetrators receiving treatment.