County program deals with child abuse victims

SMETHPORT – The county Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is playing a vital role in the sensitive job of dealing with children who are victims of abuse.In a presentation Tuesday before the McKean County Board of Commissioners, Mikele Bay said the CAC conducts “joint forensic interviews” with victims to reduce the trauma facing abused children.Bay, who resides in Hamlin Township, is a forensic interviewer for the CAC along with Mindi Brown.According to Bay, child abuse victims previously had to undergo as many as 15 different interviews to explain what happened to them.She said facing this much interrogation is “scary for a little kid.”Bay said the CAC now is the “hub” for interviews. She said both audio and video recordings are made for possible use in prosecuting the abuse cases. An “observation room” allows law enforcement and prosecution personnel to view the interviews, Bay said. McKean County CommissionersWhen:  Tuesday, Sept. 25Time:  10 a.m.Where: County Courthouse, Smethport