The Child Abuse Bureau (CAB) consists of two attorneys, two victim advocates and one secretary. CAB is located at CARE House, the local child advocacy center. The attorneys in this division prosecute felony child abuse cases, including physical and sexual abuse cases when the victim is less than 13 years old. CAB also prosecutes cases where the victim is 13-18 years old and the offender is a family or household member. Additionally, CAB handles cases where the victim is up to 21 years old and is mentally or physically handicapped. The attorneys are responsible for child abuse criminal cases starting with the filing/approval stage, Grand Jury, Pretrial motions/hearings and the trial. A victim advocate is assigned to each case to support the victims and their families throughout the case. The victim advocate also helps the family obtain medical care, counseling and other services.
The Child Abuse Bureau is part of the CARE Team, the local multi-disciplinary response to child abuse, which also includes Children’s Services, Children’s Medical Center (doctors, social workers, therapists, psychologists), the Dayton Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the other law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County.
In 2007, the Child Abuse Bureau prosecuted 63 cases of child abuse. The majority of those offenders were sentenced to prison and two offenders received life sentences. As of March 2008, two more offenders have been convicted of sex offenses with mandatory life sentences.
What is CARE House?
In recent years our community experienced the deaths of a number of children from abuse and neglect. These highly publicized cases left the community asking questions about how these deaths could have been prevented and why the child protection system had not worked for these children. A child protection task force was established and the conclusion was drawn that our child protection system was fragmented and very difficult for a family seeking help to navigate.
A recommendation was made to establish a county-wide multidisciplinary joint investigation team to provide a more coordinated response to child abuse cases. From this came the realization that our community needed to join together in establishing a centralized, child-oriented facility that would house the team. In addition to the investigation team, the child advocacy center would serve as a centralized location for child interviews, case consultations, coordination of medical evaluations and other treatment services for the child victim and non-offending family members.
In 1997, five core agencies joined together in a collaborative partnership to establish a multidisciplinary investigation team and a child advocacy center in Montgomery County. Those agencies are The Children's Medical Center, Dayton Police Department, Montgomery County Children Services, Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office, and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. An interagency cooperative agreement was signed in March, 1997. The signatories, representing all 33 law enforcement jurisdictions in Montgomery County, as well as educators and mental health service providers, agreed that a coordination of their services will provide a system that minimizes trauma to the child, eliminates excessive interviewing of child victims, and develops better, more complete evidence. It was also agreed that this type of interagency communication and cooperation will lead to more informed decisions for responding to the needs of these children.
Specifically, the agency representatives agreed to coordinate their efforts to:
- develop a prompt, comprehensive, multidisciplinary response to child victims of abuse and neglect that is designed to meet the needs of the victims and their non-offending family members;
- hold the offender accountable for his or her actions; and
- provide the child victims and their non-offending family members with needed services to protect the child from further harm.
The Children's Medical Center committed the use of a facility at 741 Valley Street, with occupancy in October, 1998. The child advocacy center, CARE House, has become a reality for our community and is the focal point of what is evolving into an integrated child protection system in Montgomery County.
Recognizing that the successful implementation of this program is dependent upon the active support and involvement of the entire community, funding is being sought from a broad base. The Montgomery County Human Services Levy Council developed a 1996-1998 budget plan that set aside money for child protection services. In 1997, The Children's Medical Center received 3 year partial funding for CARE House from the Levy Council Child Protection Set-Aside Fund. Additional start-up funding for general refurbishing of the facility has been received from other funding sources. Contributions from special events have been received and CARE House benefits from the sale of People Pins. Additionally, each partnering agency has made cash as well as in-kind contributions toward the development of CARE House.
More information on CARE house and the CARE Team is available at http://www.thecarehouse.org and http://www.childrensdayton.org/cms/site/care_house/index.html
How does CARE House serve the community?
CARE House provides a system that minimizes trauma to the child who has been abused. By partnering with all the agencies that will be involved in the child's case, we can:
- develop a prompt, comprehensive, multidisciplinary response to child victims of abuse and neglect to meet the needs of the victims and their non-offending family members;
- hold the offender accountable for his or her actions; and
- provide the child victims and their family with needed services to protect the child from further harm.
What happens at CARE House?
CARE House provides a central location for child interviews, case consultations, coordination of medical evaluations and other treatment services for the child and non-offending family members. CARE House was designed with the child's need for comfort, safety and privacy in mind.
Most children are referred from child protective services caseworkers, physicians or law enforcement officers. However, anyone may refer a child to CARE House at which time a report will be made to the appropriate child protective agency.
Who is involved in the child's care?
The CARE team - the area's first multidisciplinary child abuse team - was formed in 1979. The team includes the director of CARE House, case coordinator, medical social worker, pediatrician, nurse, child psychologist, child protective service manager and two case workers, detectives from two jurisdictions, two prosecutors and a victim advocate. The goals of the CARE team are to provide:
- consultation to child protection, law enforcement, medical and mental health professionals in the CARE House referral area;
- staff to review complex cases and agree on a treatment plan for the child and family; and
- education to professionals who encounter child maltreatment.
How do I contact CARE House?
CARE House is located at 410 Valley Street. To talk to someone at CARE House, call 937-641-4545.
From the North: I-75 south to Route 4; Route 4 east to Valley Street / Troy Street exit; left on Valley Street.
From the South: I-75 north to Route 4; Route 4 east to Valley Street / Troy Street exit; left on Valley St. Or: I-675 north to Route 35; west on Route 35 to the Keowee Street exit; north on Keowee Street to Valley Street; right on Valley Street.
From the East: Route 35 west to the Valley Street / Troy Street exit; Keowee Street north to Valley Street; right on Valley Street.
From the West: Third Street east to Keowee Street; left on Keowee Street to Valley Street; right on Valley Street.
Note: When exiting from Route 4, go through first stop sign at bottom of exit ramp. Valley Street is the second stop sign. Turn left.