​CJAC's mission is to serve children and families affected by child abuse and to provide a collaborative and compassionate community response.

Multidisciplinary Team

The Multidisciplinary (MDT) Team Investigation is the heart of CJAC's response to allegations of child abuse. The MDT allows for a prompt, sensitive, interagency response to reports of alleged child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse, as well as child witnesses to violence. The MDT also provides extensive supportive and follow-up services to children and their families.

Each person on the MDT is dedicated to providing complete and effective services to children and their families.

Kristen Mendez

Executive Director

CJAC's Executive Director, Kristen Mendez, served as the Forensic Interviewer for CJAC from 2016 to 2023, and in this same role for the Cowlitz County Prosecutor's Office from 2010-2015. She interviewed over 2,000 children during her tenure as the Forensic Interviewer, and provided expert testimony in numerous court cases. Kristen serves as both a small group facilitator and a backup instructor for the Forensic Interviewing basic course taught through the Criminal Justice Training Center, and is considered one of the most senior interviewers in the State. In addition, Kristen coordinates and facilitates the Southwest Washington Forensic Interviewer Peer Review group, and both the Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Multidisciplinary Teams. Kristen’s energy, sense of humor, integrity, and passion for serving have helped strengthen and maintain the positive reputation CJAC holds in the community.

Kristen received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Western Washington University in 1994, her Master of Social Work degree from Eastern Washington University in 2006, and has been a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker since 2013. Her background in mental health, medical social work, child protection, and family advocacy make her a tremendous asset to our community.

During her free time, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, woodworking, and being outside.

Rachel McClain

Forensic Interviewer

Rachel McClain began her career as a domestic violence / sexual assault advocate in Pacific County and received the 2017 Advocate for Children Award from the Crisis Support Network. She went on to become a Forensic Interviewer and helped establish the Children’s Advocacy Center in Pacific County. She furthered her passion while serving as a Forensic Interviewer for multiple communities across the state, including Pacific, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pend Oreille, and most recently Spokane County. She recently moved back home and joined CJAC as our new full-time Forensic Interviewer.

Rachel serves as a small group facilitator for the Forensic Interviewer basic course provided by the Criminal Justice Training Center. She also has additional training in interviewing preschool age children, presenting evidence in the forensic interview, advanced forensic interviewing and interviewing victims of trafficking.

Rachel’s passion for serving children and families, professionalism, friendly demeanor, and positive attitude put families and children at ease during what can often be a difficult and stressful time.

In her free time, Rachel enjoys kayaking, spending time with her children, and playing with her Boxer, Luna.

​CJAC's mission is to serve children and families affected by child abuse
and to provide a collaborative and compassionate community response.

Donate now Become a volunteer