April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and Porter-Bradford and Burnett spoke about the important role CAC plays in helping local agencies and law enforcement authorities investigate and prosecute child abuse cases, and provide support and services for the victims and non-offending family members.
Porter-Bradford discussed the multi-disciplinary team approach used at the CAC that brings agencies together once a month to go over new and pending cases to determine what is needed to help the victims and prepare the cases for either the county or district attorney to take forward.
Part of that is interviewing victims between the ages of 2 and 17 on video one time that is watched on a closed-circuit monitor by the investigators so that the victim, or victims, are not subjected to repeated interviews by different agencies.
Porter-Bradford said as many as many as 28 people are part of the MDT in Palo Pinto County, saying while they all sit at the table, everyone in the county who supports or is involved with CAC have their own "seat at the table" in helping victims receive justice and safety from their abusers, while removing from the community individuals who harm children.
Burnett spoke about the trial earlier this month of a man charged with three counts of sexual abuse against three young boys and the work of the CAC that helped lead to his conviction, sending him to prison for a minimum of 70 years barring any change in the appeal or legislative processes.
She also discussed last week's occurrence of a young mother throwing her 2-month-old son against a door because the infant was crying. The child remains in guarded condition at a Fort Worth hospital. Burnett said the infant has improved some and is out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She said, though, the child appears to have suffered permanent brain damage, and is still "not out of the water" regarding his chances at survival.
The mother remains in Palo Pinto County Jail, charged for now with first-degree felony injury to a child.
To learn more about the CAC, go to www.cacpalopinto.org or find them on Facebook.
Rotary Club of Mineral Wells meets every Wednesday at noon at HHCC to network, receive updates on club projects and hear a program of interest.
- See more at: http://mineralwellsrotary.org/Stories/rotary-hears-of-cac-s-role-in-child-abuse-cases-providing-investigative-and-victim-support#sthash.XPM03bfb.dpuf