Child Abuse Unit
Katharine Folger, Chief
Tom Brant, Deputy Chief
The Child Protection Unit is a team of Assistant District Attorneys, Victim Witness Advocates, Child Interview Specialists, and Paralegals with expertise in the investigation and prosecution of cases involving the sexual abuse, physical abuse and exploitation of children.
District Attorney Marian Ryan is dedicated to minimizing secondary trauma to victims by streamlining the investigation of child abuse cases. The Unit works in conjunction with the Middlesex Children’s Advocacy Center. Their use of a multi-disciplinary team approach reduces the number of investigative interviews and court appearances for the victim and coordinates the multitude of services for the victim and non-offending family members. Prosecutors are always mindful of what is in the best interest of the child.
For more information about our services, including forensic interviewing, referrals for mental health services, referrals for medical evaluation, and referrals for sexual assault evidence collection services, please visit the MCAC website: http://middlesexcac.org.
Mandated Reporter Training
The Massachusetts Legislature has designated doctors, nurses, child care providers, teachers, guidance counselors, and certain other professionals as mandated reporters.
By the nature of their work, mandated reporters are often the first people to see signs of or be told about abuse, including exploitation, and neglect. The State receives over 75,000 reports of abuse and neglect a year.
It is a crime for mandated reporters to fail to file a 51A Report if, in their professional capacity, they have reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused or neglected. The name of a mandated reporter is kept confidential unless ordered by a court.
Professionally licensed mandated reporters are required to complete a training on how to recognize and report suspected child abuse and neglect. We offer this free online training program, which is available in 15 languages. The training includes information about new obligations under the Massachusetts Human Trafficking Law.
The training website can be found here.