This paper profiles the resources for countering child abuse offered by the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse.
Each year Center staff respond to approximately 4,000 calls from investigators, prosecutors, and other child abuse professionals. Center staff assistance includes conducting research, deciphering complex medical and forensic evidence, and "brainstorming" with law enforcement and prosecutors to develop investigative and trial strategies. Experienced prosecutors and medical, mental health, and law enforcement professionals teach the Center's training classes. The core course focuses on procedures for investigating and prosecuting child abuse. A course on the investigation and prosecution of child fatalities and physical abuse focuses on recognizing and prosecuting child homicides that have been mistakenly classified as "accidents" or the result of "natural causes." "SAFETY NET" offers cutting-edge, advanced training to multidisciplinary teams in investigating and prosecuting computer-facilitated sexual exploitation of children. A course on the investigation and prosecution of child abduction addresses the unique challenges prosecutors, investigators, and allied criminal justice professionals face in cases of child abduction. Another course explores the mechanics of speaking with children about abuse and examines how to defend those interviews in court. In a partnership with States, the Center is developing the latter course for use in high-quality, State-specific training institutes. To help justice and child protection system employees, the Center offers a full range of technical support, consultation services, and information.
Date Published: August 1, 2001