8 am 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday. We’re closed on all State holidays.
No. Children and non-offending caregivers are here only so long as the forensic interview requires. Any follow-up visits, like with a physician or Victim Advocate, are also only for as long as the appointment requires.
Federal and state grants, primarily the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding, and donations from community partners like you.
About forensic interviews and services
Only one member of the team at CACSEI will conduct the interview. Parents, guardians, and other family members are not allowed in the interview room at the same time. Law enforcement and other team members will watch the interview on closed-circuit TV in a separate room.
Law enforcement or a DCS report alleging child abuse, maltreatment, neglect, or a child being a witness to crime. After receiving a report, CACSEI staff will schedule an interview, sometimes within hours of the allegation.
Concerns with your child’s school, bullying, or instances where direct physical abuse is not happening should be dealt with with those individuals and organizations. CACSEI cannot make calls or interview children in those circumstances.
The forensic interview is part of an investigation. A Court could subpoena anyone watching it.
A victim advocate will work with non-offending caregivers. This VA will help you understand the legal steps that come next, connect you with medical and physical health screenings, and more. CACSEI’s help does not end at the time of the interview. It is just beginning.
It’s varies depending on the case, the age of the child, and the child’s ability to discuss matters. A forensic interview usually takes about an hour to ninety minutes, but can take less time or even several hours.
Nothing. CACSEI does not charge families for the cost of victim advocacy or forensic interviews. Medical and mental health examinations are often free or reduced cost when not already covered by insurance.
What happens if my child makes a false allegation or statement before, during, or after the interview?
It is rare, but this is why we have a robust forensic interview process. The process, coupled with Court, helps sort out situations and reveal the truth.
Your child still needs medical attention. They may need tested or treated for STDs, pregnancy, or other injuries. Mental and other physical factors may not be obvious. Your child’s health can be substantiated through a careful medical exam, forensic interview, and investigative report.
If my child isn’t ready to talk or doesn’t tell you anything during the interview, can we reschedule?
It is rare, but the investigative team may decide to repeat or reschedule if there is a justifiable reason to do so.
Other common questions from parents, guardians, and caregivers
Counseling and therapy is important, which is why we have partners who provide this critical service to children and families.
No. Those matters are reserved for the Court.
Yes, however the Court may issue a recommendation otherwise. Or, the Prosecutor may advise you the case is weaker without one and may not proceed with charges.
My child was taken to the hospital where a rape exam was done and doctors spoke to them. Do they still need a forensic interview or exam?
Most likely, yes. Most times emergency room physicians are not equipped to conduct a forensic exam for later use in court. They may not take photographs, ask the right questions in a fact-finding way appropriate for Court, or take a full medical history from the perspective of the abuse.
Child sexual abuse almost always happens with no other witnesses. Medical evidence is often missing or temporary. And predators are very good at hiding what happened and scaring or pressuring children into keeping quiet. At some ages, children may not even be aware what is happening is bad.
There are many things that materialize after abuse, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. A proper investigation and exam should:
- Get history from the child and guardian
- Consider alternative reasons for signs or symptoms
- Identify and document signs of injury or infection
- Identify and diagnose medical conditions resulting from abuse
- Assess developmental, emotional, or behavioral problems. Of which many are slow to develop and may be easy to hide.
- Reassure the child and family
- Document findings for later use by law enforcement, prosecutors, and Courts
- Help ensure the well-being of the child
Yes, there are two dozen CACs like CACSEI operating around Indiana. CACSEI is the only one serving Southeast Indiana. We have satellite locations in Madison and a new Greensburg location coming soon.
About allegations of abuse and disclosure
You do not report abuse to us. By law you must report it to 911 in an emergency or call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800–800–5556.
Children frequently do not have a baseline understanding of what it means to be touched appropriately or inappropriately. Often “nothing happened” turns out to be something much more. Disclosure is a process, and if DCS or law enforcement recommend a forensic interview, one should be conducted.
If the allegation of abuse happened more than 72 hours ago, there is no need to rush to the CAC, but you can still receive a forensic interview and medical exam.
If you suspect abuse, Indiana law requires you to make a report to 911 or law enforcement, or to the Indiana Child Abuse Hotline at 1–800–800–5556 first. If you bring them to CACSEI, our first step will be to call law enforcement.