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The district attorney develops and defines the roles and responsibilities of those participating in the investigation of child abuse cases. Assistant district attorneys prosecute offenders in criminal court. Attorneys for CPS file abuse or neglect petitions in family court and prosecute the case in family court.

Assistant district attorneys and attorneys for CPS may provide:

  • Support to the child/adolescent and family

  • Understanding of the family court and criminal court processes

  • Assistance to police and CPS

  • Legal definitions and explanations to law enforcement, CPS, and medical and mental health professionals regarding what is sufficient evidence for "probable cause" for an arrest, "reasonable cause to suspect" for an indictment, and "beyond a reasonable doubt" for a trial conviction

  • Information regarding criminal court status, whether an arrest was made, an indictment obtained, trial date set, conviction and sentencing status, and status of orders of protection

  • Witness preparation




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SUNY Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, New York


Multidisciplinary Approach: Overview  Multidisciplinary Approach: Medical Providers  Multidisciplinary Approach: Child Protective Services  Multidisciplinary Approach: Law Enforcement  Multidisciplinary Approach: Prosecution  Multidisciplinary Approach: Victim Advocates  Multidisciplinary Approach: Mental Health Professionals  Multidisciplinary Approach: Child Advocacy Centers  Multidisciplinary Approach: Additional Resources 

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