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Grant for $10,876 to be used to equip a child forensic interview room in the new child advocacy center
MARSHFIELD - The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of Crime Victim Services has awarded the Wood County District Attorney's Office a grant in the amount of $10,876 to be used to equip a child forensic interview room in the new child advocacy center. This award is made possible through a special grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and distributed by the Children's Justice Act (CJA) program.
The Wisconsin Children's Justice Act grant program is committed to improving the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect. The program encourages county childcare professionals to work together to streamline the investigative process so that children who are victims of a crime are not further traumatized. Often, this is done by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement and social service agencies who work together from the start of an investigation. This special BJA grant was awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Justice for the sole purpose of assisting counties in equipping child forensic interview rooms.
CJA grant funds can also be used to train law enforcement officers and social workers on how to conduct forensic interviews of children. Forensic interviews provide a number of advantages. They allow for the child to be interviewed once rather than repeatedly by numerous agencies. The interviews are taped and can be used in preliminary court proceedings, rather than having to have the child testify in a courtroom on multiple occasions.
"By bringing agencies together, child forensic interview rooms help minimize trauma to victims and supply services to children in need," said Attorney General JB Van Hollen. "They also assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of crimes against children."
A coalition of Wood County child maltreatment professionals including law enforcement, social workers, prosecutors, medical providers and others began meeting in 2003 with the goal of establishing a child advocacy center (CAC) in Marshfield. With the opening of the child forensic interview room, this goal will be complete.