CAST: Child Abuse Services Team opened in 1989 to “reduce the trauma for child victims during the investigation of their abuse.”Most of CAST’s clients are victims of sexual abuse, others have observed serious crimes, such as domestic violence, homicide, kidnapping and human trafficking.
CAST is a multidisciplinary, public/private collaboration of social workers, medical doctors and a nurse practitioner, a deputy district attorney, and therapists as well as child advocates from the Priority Center and a representative from Victim Witness. Children are brought to CAST from all 23 law enforcement agencies in Orange County, for forensic interviews, medical exams, and/or crisis intervention therapy. At present, there are 55 to 60 volunteer Child Advocates.
In addition to recruiting, selecting, training and supervising Advocates, the CAST staff is also responsible for generating everything needed to care for children in the CAST playroom including toys, stuffed animals, snacks and lunches and other special items needed by the team as a whole, in addition to relating with donors on a regular basis.