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Frequently Asked Questions

The Center provides services to children who are victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse, including child sensitive interviews for law enforcement purposes, counseling, medical exams, legal advocacy and community resource referrals.

Q:  I'm worried my child might have been abused, can I call the Will County Children's Advocacy Center and schedule an interview for my child?

A:  Children are interviewed here after we receive a police report and/or Department of Children and Family Services report alleging child sexual abuse and/or severe physical abuse.  Law enforcement must be present and view the forensic interview.

Q:  Does the parent have to be present at the center during my child’s interview?

A:  Unless you are the alleged offender, it is imperative that you be here with your child.  You need to sign a consent form in order for your child to be interviewed.  The interviewer will speak with you to gather any information you can offer about the allegation. 

Q:  Can I sit with my child during their forensic interview?

A:  The information disclosed during the forensic interview can be emotionally upsetting to the parent/guardian, and we want children to be as comfortable as possible.  Therefore, parents are not allowed to sit with the child during the interview. We do not want anything to inhibit your child in any way.

Q:  Can I observe my child’s interview?

A:  No, you are not allowed to view the interview.  Anyone viewing the interview could be subjected to a court subpoena.  Therefore, law enforcement, a representative from the state’s attorney’s office, DCFS, if warranted, and possibly an Advocacy Center staff member, will be the only people observing the interview.

Q:  What if my child becomes upset during their forensic interview?

A:  Our experienced forensic interviewers work with children under many different circumstances.  If your child becomes upset, our interviewers work with them to reassure them and make them as comfortable as possible. 

Q:  What happens to the recording of my child’s forensic interview?

A:  All recordings are evidence belonging to law enforcement, and, therefore, the evidence stays with law enforcement.  The Will County Children's Advocacy Center does not keep copies of any recordings of the forensic interviews.

Q:  What happens after the forensic interview is over?

A:  Law enforcement and/or DCFS will meet with you to discuss the interview and to inform you as to how the investigation will proceed.  A case manager from the Advocacy Center will aid you in finding the appropriate counseling services and/or resources after the forensic interview is concluded. 

Freedom of Information Act

The mission of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center is to ensure coordination and cooperation among all agencies involved in child sexual/severe physical abuse cases in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these agencies, to minimize the stress created for the child and his or her family by the investigative and judicial process, and to ensure that more effective treatment is provided for the child and his or her family.

OFFICE LOCATION
The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center is located on the 5th floor of the Will County Court Annex Building, 57 North Ottawa Street, Joliet, Illinois 60432.

OFFICE DIAGRAM
Will County State’s Attorney/Board Chair
CAC Advisory Board
Executive Director
Case Manager ---Admin. Assistant---Forensic Interviewer---Counselors

EMPLOYEES/BUDGET
The Advocacy Center employs three (3) full time staff, one (1) part-time and and three (3) contractual staff.  The budget for FY13 is $352,112.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS
Although Freedom of Information Act requests may be submitted via facsimile or email, the Center encourages the public to submit their requests via U.S. mail, hand delivery or courier to the following address:

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center
57 N. Ottawa St., Suite 506
Joliet, Illinois, 60432

Designated Freedom of Information Officer: Lisa Morel Las, Executive Director
Fax: 815-774-4562
Email: lmlas@willcountyillinois.com

FEES
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, the Child Advocacy Center will charge the following fees:

Black and White copies (legal or letter size):
No fee for the first 50 pages, $0.15 for each additional printed page.

Color copies: 8 ½ x 11 One sided $.14 per print Two-sided $.25 per print
8 ½ x 14 One-sided $.15 per print Two-sided $.26 per print
8 ½ x 17 One sided $.16 per print Two-sided $.27 per print

Non-standard sized copies or those that must be commercially reproduced…Actual cost

Due to the sensitive nature of the information handled by this office, all requests under the Freedom of Information Act must be reviewed by the designated Freedom of Information Officer.
No documents will be made available until that review is completed within the time period allotted under the Freedom of Information Act.

In 2012, the Will County Children's Advocacy Center launched the Paws 4 Kids program that offers furry friendship and canine comfort to children who have suffered the trauma of sexual abuse.

Learn more about Paws 4 Kids!

openings

Experience working in a multidisciplinary setting and be part of a dynamic culture of professionals who help victims of child sexual abuse to reclaim their lives.
Learn more and apply here.

 

 

 

Hotline

If you suspect a child is being abused please call the State of Illinois Hotline:

1-800-25-ABUSE
(1-800-252-2873)

Or call your local law enforcement.