Our Child Advocacy Center was recently invited with the local Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to present a case study at the 2023 New York State Children's Alliance (NYSCA) Leadership Conference.
The conference is attended by Child Advocacy Center leaders from across the entire state and was held October 3rd in Saratoga Springs.
The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, Columbia County Department of Social Services, New York State Police and MHACG's Child Advocacy Center were chosen to present a criminal case involving child maltreatment as a model of successful collaborations to the Child Advocacy Center leadership and partner agencies in New York State, as well as representatives from National Child Welfare Agencies and organizations.
Both the Child Advocacy Center and District Attorney have contributed to the high success rates in investigating and prosecuting sex crimes. Since 2017, the conviction rate for child maltreatment cases involving a collaboration with the Child Advocacy Center is 93 percent.
Columbia County CAC/MDT presents at the 2023 NYS Children's Alliance Leadership Conference
Pictured: CCDA's Office ADA's Ryan Carty and Joyce Crawford, CCDSS/CPS Supervisor Alissa Mullins, NYSP Investigator Craig Morrison, CAC Program Director Julianne Baumann, and CAC Senior Advocate Renielle Yankana Tracey.
“Our CAC is known for our strong commitment in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse in our community.
Our Multidisciplinary team is also recognized for its cohesiveness and collaboration, working together to ensure that child victims and their families are supported from the moment of disclosure, throughout the trial and as long as it takes for a family to heal.”
- Julianne Baumann, Program Director and Trauma Specialist
MHACG Child Advocacy Center
The multidisciplinary team is not only between the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and the Child Advocacy Center; it also includes Law Enforcement Agencies, Child Protective Services, Mental Health and Medical Professionals.
The National District Attorney’s Association has stated, “Multidisciplinary child abuse investigation teams (or MDTs) in association with child advocacy centers show the greatest potential for cost-efficient and effective prosecution.”
Columbia County is one of the few counties wherein Assistant District Attorneys are present during interviews, offering legal guidance to forensic interviewers at the earliest point in the investigation, and they continue to aid in the investigation as it unfolds.
“I truly believe the advent of the Child Advocacy Center is one of the most important programs that have been instituted in my 30-plus years working in criminal justice. With the assistance of the CAC, the number of child interviews is reduced to the absolute minimum necessary. Our CAC also accompanies victims and their families to Court, Grand Jury and other legal proceedings.”
- District Attorney Paul Czajka
“NYSCA was honored to have a team of dedicated professionals from MHA of Columbia-Greene's REACH & Child Advocacy Centers present at our annual conference. The annual conference is an opportunity for experts who respond to reports of child abuse to gather and share information from their peers.” Linda Cleary, Executive Director, New York State Children’s Alliance, Inc.
The presentation was provided by members of our Columbia County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty, Assistant District Attorney Joyce Crawford, New York State Police Investigator Craig Morrison, Department of Social Services, Sr. Child Protective Services Supervisor Alissa Mullins, CAC Director Julianne Baumann and CAC Advocate Renielle Yankana-Tracey.
The presentation provided insight on how our CAC and MDT members work together simultaneously in high-risk situations to ensure the safety of families, locate suspects, investigate, and successfully prosecute cases of child abuse and maltreatment and provide medical treatment, therapy and advocacy.
All services provided by the CAC are free and confidential, based on grant funding provided by the Office of Victim Services and Office of Children and Family Services, and donations. Please contact the Child Advocacy Center at 518-697-3320 for more information or visit mhacg.org/programs/cac.