The multi-disciplinary approach to child abuse provides for a sensitive, thorough, and collaborative response to intervene in, investigate and prosecute child abuse cases. The Northwestern District Attorney’s office works closely with the Northwestern District’s Children's Advocacy Center, the Department of Children and Families, victim-witness child advocates, medical and mental health communities and law enforcement to streamline the handling of child abuse cases so as to minimize secondary trauma to victims and to ensure that children are treated with dignity and respect.
Who Makes Up the S.A.I.N Team?
- Assistant District Attorney: The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) attends the S.A.I.N. interview and acts as the legal consultant to the S.A.I.N. team regarding criminal investigations. The ADA will discuss the possibility of prosecution with you. If prosecution is appropriate, a Child Abuse ADA will represent the Commonwealth in all criminal court proceedings.
- S.A.I.N. Coordinator: Works with professionals involved to coordinate and facilitate the team interview and also available on-going information about your child’s case.
- Forensic Interviewer: Professional who is specially trained to conduct a child centered, legally sound interview of a child.
- Family Service Advocate: A Family Service Advocate works to meet the needs of child victims and their non-offending family members during the process of the S.A.I.N. interview and, if determined necessary, through the subsequent investigation, any court proceedings and any post-conviction proceedings.
- Law Enforcement: Local law enforcement and/or state police are an important part of the team’s dedication to victim safety. Working with team members to effectively carry out any criminal investigations, making arrests and ensuring victim safety is the crucial area of involvement for law enforcement.
- Department of Children and Families: The Department of Children and Families of Massachusetts works to ensure the safety of children. If there is suspicion a child is being abused sexually or physically or is being neglected by a caretaker, a member of DCF will investigate by looking into the areas of the child’s life. Depending on the outcome of their investigation, the DCF worker will recommend steps to maximize the child’s wellbeing.
Contact your local DCF Office:
Holyoke Area DCF
261 High St.
(Families living in Southampton and Huntington)
Van Wart DCF
112 Industry Ave.
(Families living in Granby, Belchertown, Ware, South Hadley)
Greenfield Area DCF
One Arch Place
(Families living in all other cities and towns in Hampshire and Franklin Counties and the Town of Athol)
DCF 24 Hour Hotline
(For reporting all abuse/neglect after hours)