Child Forensic Interview: A child forensic interview is a neutral, legally sound fact-finding interview. Ideally, child forensic interviews are conducted in a child-friendly setting or environment by a professional person specifically trained to take a child’s statement. Child forensic interviewing skills include knowledge of child development, cultural competence, and how children use language. In many places child forensic interviews are observed by investigators over a closed circuit TV system or through a one way mirror, but the child only talks to one person. Many child forensic interviews are recorded to a DVD.
Children’s Advocacy Center (CACs): A CAC is a place where child victims of crime and abuse and their non-offending caregiver can participate in the investigation of the crime and receive important support services. A CAC is a child friendly location where the professionals assigned to the case meet with the child and family. Services at a CAC include child forensic interviews with specially trained interviewers, medical exams with specially trained providers, information and education, referrals for mental health care, court preparation if necessary, and ongoing support for the child and caregiver for as long as needed. Montana CACs are located in various facilities including hospitals, health clinics, mental health agencies and remodeled homes.
Children’s Alliance of Montana (CAM): CAM is the state chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. CAM’s members are Montana Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) and Montana multidisciplinary teams (MDTs). CAM provides technical support, training and other resources for teams and centers in Montana so that someday every child victim in Montana will have access to the services of an accredited CAC program.
Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC): ICAC units are investigators specially assigned from Montana police and Sheriff’s departments to work on reports of children being victimized through computers or other online technology. ICAC investigators work closely with the federal bureau of investigation and with federal prosecutors because using a computer to victimize a child is a federal crime.
Montana Child Sexual Abuse Response Team (MCSART): The MCSART Program, administered by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), promotes successful prosecution of child abuse perpetrators and high quality response to child victims by providing coordinated community response resources for reports of crimes against children in Montana. A multidisciplinary team (MDT) investigative model uses improved evidence collection through forensic interview and forensic medical exam techniques, reduces contaminated evidence from multiple interviews, and also provides victim support to traumatized children and their non-offending caregivers. The core member agencies of an MDT are county prosecutors, law enforcement, medical, child protection and mental health.
The MCSART Program provides Montana communities with the training, equipment and ongoing technical assistance for best practice collaborated response to reports of crimes against children.
Multidisciplinary Team (MDT): An MDT is a formal collaboration of the professionals who respond to child victims of crime and abuse. Team members are law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, mental health providers, medical provider, victim advocates. A tribal team includes federal law enforcement and social services as well as tribal law enforcement, prosecution and social services. An effective team must have a written interagency agreement and written protocols. The purpose of a team approach to child victims is to reduce the stress and trauma for the child and non-offending caregivers while increasing successful prosecution of those who commit offenses against children.
Sexual Abuse of Children: Sexual abuse of children is defined in Montana law.
Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is a criminal term defined in Montana law.