(55 ILCS 80/2.5)
As used in this Section:
"Accreditation" means the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented by standards set by the National Children's Alliance to ensure effective, efficient and consistent delivery of services by a CAC.
"Child maltreatment" includes any act or occurrence, as defined in Section 5 of the Criminal Code of 2012, under the Children and Family Services Act or the Juvenile Court Act involving either a child victim or child witness.
"Children's Advocacy Center" or "CAC" is a child-focused, trauma-informed, facility-based program in which representatives from law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, forensic interviewing, medical, and victim advocacy disciplines collaborate to interview children, meet with a child's parent or parents, caregivers, and family members, and make team decisions about the investigation, prosecution, safety, treatment, and support services for child maltreatment cases.
"Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois" or "CACI" is a state chapter of the National Children's Alliance ("NCA") and organizing entity for Children's Advocacy Centers in the State of Illinois. It defines membership and engages member CACs in the NCA accreditation process and collecting and sharing of data, and provides training, leadership, and technical assistance to existing and emerging CACs in the State.
"Forensic interview" means an interview between a trained forensic interviewer, as defined by NCA standards, and a child in which the interviewer obtains information from children in an unbiased and fact finding manner that is developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive to support accurate and fair decision making by the multidisciplinary team in the criminal justice and child protection systems. Whenever practical, all parties involved in investigating reports of child maltreatment shall observe the interview, which shall be digitally recorded.
"Multidisciplinary team" or "MDT" means a group of professionals working collaboratively under a written protocol, who represent various disciplines from the point of a report of child maltreatment to assure the most effective coordinated response possible for every child. Employees from each participating entity shall be included on the MDT. A CAC's MDT must include professionals involved in the coordination, investigation, and prosecution of child abuse cases, including the CAC's staff, participating law enforcement agencies, the county state's attorney, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and must include professionals involved in the delivery of services to victims of child maltreatment and non-offending parent or parents, caregiver, and their families.
"National Children's Alliance" or "NCA" means the professional membership organization dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in an effective and efficient manner. NCA provides training, support, technical assistance and leadership on a national level to state and local CACs and communities responding to reports of child maltreatment. NCA is the national organization that provides the standards for CAC accreditation.
"Protocol" means a written methodology defining the responsibilities of each of the MDT members in the investigation and prosecution of child maltreatment within a defined jurisdiction. Written protocols are signed documents and are reviewed and/or updated annually, at a minimum, by a CAC's Advisory Board.
(Source: P.A. 98-809, eff. 1-1-15