(55 ILCS 80/2)
(from Ch. 23, par. 1802)
(a) The General Assembly finds that the creation
of accredited Children's Advocacy Centers ("CACs") accredited throughout the State of
Illinois is essential to providing a formal, comprehensive, integrated, and multidisciplinary response to the investigation and disposition of reports of child maltreatment; by expediting and improving the validation or invalidation of such allegations for the benefit of children, their families and accused perpetrators; by requiring the use of collaborative decision making and case management, thereby reducing the number of times children are questioned and examined, thus preventing further trauma of children; by coordinating therapeutic intervention and services thereby providing safety and treatment for child victims and their families; by developing communication, case coordination, and information sharing policies and protocols among allied professionals and agencies who play a role in child protection in a given jurisdiction; by collecting data to report to partner agencies, the community, and the General Assembly, and to use in continually improving collaborative multidisciplinary investigations; and, by maintaining the confidentiality of client records and records from partner agencies, to ensure the protection of the privacy of children, their families and accused perpetrators. A CAC organized and operating under this Act may accept, receive and disburse in furtherance of its duties and functions any funds, grants and services made available by the State of Illinois and its agencies, the federal government and its agencies, a unit of local government, or private or civic sources. To the extent permitted by applicable law, participating entities shall maintain the confidentiality of case-related information which includes, but is not limited to, case review discussions, case review notes, written reports and records, and verbal exchanges.
(b) The General Assembly further finds that the most precious resource in the State of Illinois is our children. The protection of children from physical abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation, and neglect, hereinafter "child maltreatment", is at the core of the duties and fundamental responsibilities of the General Assembly and provides the highest compelling interest to create and maintain a system to effectively respond to reports of child maltreatment and protect children from harm.
(Source: P.A. 98-809, eff. 1-1-15