The primary goal of all agencies and institutions involved in the management of offenses against children and adolescents is to ensure their safety and well-being. A multidisciplinary team approach allows for a coordinated response to child/adolescent victims and creates a system of investigation and prosecution of child abuse that causes the least possible trauma to the children/adolescents and families.
Successful community coordination of child abuse cases requires the development of interagency agreements and guidelines. Such agreements provide a framework to coordinate the handling of cases through formalizing collaboration among agencies. Interagency agreements should delineate specific tasks in the intervention process and clarify the role and responsibilities of the participating agencies. Guidelines should explain how the agencies work together to investigate, prosecute, and provide support to the child/adolescent victim and family. In addition, you should develop a clear and explicit understanding and agreement with other professionals and agencies regarding the investigative process. Without such understanding, further trauma, duplication of effort, and omissions of necessary evaluations are likely to occur. Although reporting requirements differ depending upon the relationship of the perpetrator to the child/adolescent, the care afforded the child/adolescent remains the same.