Fulton, NY – Members of the Child Advocacy Center’s Multi-Disciplinary Team were recently recognized at the agency’s annual meeting for their extraordinary investigative efforts.
Over the past year the CAC served 497 children, provided 3,000 therapy sessions, and forensically investigated more than 195 cases.
“Our MDT members conducted 196 forensic interviews and the victim advocates gave supports for civil and criminal justice matters and social and emotional support over 11,600 times,” said CAC Executive Director Karrie Damm. “These families need a lot of education, assistance, and support…and we are there to listen to them and lend them a hand whenever necessary.”
“The Outstanding MDT Investigation Award recognizes people who put their lives and their work on the line every day,” said Judy Mayne, vice-president of the CAC board of directors. “These professionals represent different disciplines in the child abuse field and work collaboratively from the point of report to ensure the most effective, coordinated response possible for every child. The purpose of this inter-agency collaboration is to coordinate intervention so as to reduce potential trauma to children and families and improve services while preserving and respecting the rights and obligations of each agency to pursue their respective mandates. Insight from each MDT representative provides the environment for a coordinated, comprehensive, and compassionate professional response.”
Mayne explained that the investigation for which the MDT was being recognized for was particularly troubling.
Richard Graham Jr. had raped and sexually abused multiple children under the age of 11, two of which he sexually abused countless times beginning when they were three years old.
Following several interviews that lead to Graham Jr.’s arrest and indictment he was charged with 20 felonies and 2 misdemeanors and was sentenced to 23 years, 20 years post release supervision.
“This was one of the worst sexual abuse cases I have ever witnessed,” said Oswego County Assistant District Attorney Allison O’Neil. “I am so proud of all team members, everyone involved worked hard and came together to achieve a positive result that brought justice to bring the children and to the adult that were injured so badly by this man.”
“Our MDT team members clearly demonstrated the power of working collaboratively to ensure justice, victim safety, and assist the children and their family to begin healing from this trauma,” Damm. “The team’s response and engagement with the CAC from the beginning was an extraordinary example of a successful investigative team approach.”
Comprised of a cross-section of law enforcement investigators, child protective services, medical providers, therapeutic professionals, victim support professionals, the district attorney’s office, and other human services agencies, the CAC’s Multi-Disciplinary Team maintains a well-coordinated, effective approach to child abuse investigation and prosecution, and service provision to families and individuals affected by child abuse.
Team members share pertinent information regarding the cases, and by following the CAC’s system for monitoring cases, take necessary steps to protect children, reduce the trauma to children and respective family members and pursue positive legal outcomes that meet the best interest of the child victim and their families.
“The Multi-Disciplinary Team enables us to offer a wide range of services to children who have been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused and their families. Its efforts allow us to maintain an effective approach to child abuse investigation and prosecution, and service provision to families and individuals affected by child abuse,” added Damm.
Located at 301 Beech St. in Fulton, with a satellite office at 4822 Salina St. in Pulaski, the CAC of Oswego County is a non-profit charitable organization that works hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, medical providers, therapy providers, and victim advocacy professionals in Oswego County to protect and serve children that are victims of sexual and physical abuse.
For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call 315-592-4453.