588-1 Children's justice program; establishment, purpose. (a) There is established a children's justice program within the judiciary. The mission of the program is to provide for the special needs of children as witnesses by promoting coordination for appropriate investigation, treatment, and legal processes, thereby reducing and preventing unnecessary trauma to children and ensuring justice for children and their families.

(b) The purpose of the program shall be to:

(1) Develop, achieve, and maintain interagency and interprofessional cooperation and coordination in the investigation of and case management of intrafamilial and extrafamilial child sex abuse and serious physical child abuse cases;

(2) Facilitate in an impartial manner the professional gathering of information by public and private agencies and their providers for court proceedings involving child victims and witnesses;

(3) Reduce to the absolute minimum the number of interviews of child sex abuse victims so as to minimize revictimization of the child;

(4) Coordinate the therapeutic and treatment program for child sex abuse victims and their families;

(5) Provide for a multidisciplinary team and case management approach which is focused first, on the alleged or suspected child sex abuse victim's needs and conditions; second, on the family members who are supportive of the child and whose interests are consistent with the best interests of the child; and third, on law enforcement and prosecutorial needs;

(6) Provide for the training and continuing education of skilled professional interviewers of child sex abuse victims; and

(7) Serve as the focus of information and referral for child sex abuse programs. [L 1986, c 169, pt of 1; am L 2001, c 219, 3]



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