Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC) is the Children's Advocacy Center serving Baltimore City. BCAC opened its doors in 1987 in response to growing awareness that sexually abused children were not only suffering the lasting effects of abuse, but they were also being revictimized by the lengthy and often repetitive investigative process intended to help them. BCAC has since developed a coordinated response that has resulted in timely, child-sensitive investigations of child sexual abuse in Baltimore City.
Our mission is to provide victims of child sexual abuse, trauma, and other Adverse Childhood Experiences in Baltimore and their non-offending caretakers with comprehensive forensic interviews, medical treatment, and mental health treatment with a goal of preventing future trauma.
BCAC's Coordinated Response to Child Sexual Abuse Investigations Reduces Trauma and Protmotes Better Outcomes
BCAC provides a multidisciplinary approach to helping families through every step of the investigative process. At BCAC, a child is interviewed by a specially trained psychologist or social worker. The interview is recorded and viewed by partners in law enforcement and child protection so the child only needs to tell their story one time. BCAC has an onsite medical clinic where medical staff not only examine children for signs of abuse, but also observe children for other untreated medical conditions. Crisis counseling is available for families on the day of their visit and families are given referrals for counseling or other treatment services.
After the day of the family's initial visit to BCAC, the work continues. Family advocates follow-up with families to ensure they have access to the treatment and services they need and BCAC coordinates the ongoing investigation of child sexual abuse and assault cases conducted by a team of representatives from Baltimore City Police, Child Protectives Services, Baltimore City State's Attorneys Office, and BCAC's own interview, medical and treatment staff. This coordinated approach ensures families receive proper support to cope with the trauma of abuse through the healing and justice processes.
BCAC has years of experience in recognizing, responding to, and reporting child abuse and uses this experience to conduct detailed forensic interviews, prepare reports, and testify in criminal and civil proceedings regarding the child's interview, mental development and psychology of disclosures. BCAC is accredited by the National Children's Alliance, is the oldest Children's Advocacy Center in Maryland and the third oldest in the United States. Today over 800 centers are in operation.