CAST began in 1989 as a multi-disciplinary team program for conducting child sexual abuse investigations at a single site. At that time children who were alleged to have been sexually abused were subjected to multiple interviews by numerous professionals at various different sites. The success of this one-stop approach was expanded to include all forms of child abuse in 1999.
CASTís coordinated on-site services have enabled social services, law enforcement, deputy district attorneys, medical providers, and therapists to collaborate on investigations. Thus, investigations are completed in a more timely, thorough and consistent manner. This benefits both the child and family during the investigation of child abuse.
The child-focused, child-friendly environment at CAST serves to further reduce the trauma for these children. CAST is a place where they can play comfortably and the non-offending parents receive immediate support from experienced staff and volunteers. Community donations of toys, games, stuffed animals, snacks, lunches, and crafts are provided for the comfort of the children. Each year over 1000 children in Orange County are seen at the Child Abuse Services Team office.
Child Abuse Services Team, a member of the National Childrenís Alliance, is a nationally recognized leader and role model for its child-friendly approach to conducting child abuse investigations.