Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center

Freehold, NJ

Sonnenfeld + Trocchia designed the Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center (MCCAC), a child-focused facility that helps victims of child abuse. Keeping with the MCCAC’s mission to take an integrated, multidisciplinary, child-friendly approach to the investigation and treatment of abuse of children—thereby reducing the trauma and fear for the victim—our goal was to put children and families at the center of our design.

The new Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center centralizes the different agencies that are involved when professionals respond to child abuse investigation—helping minimize any stress for the children involved. The 10,000-square-foot facility includes an onsite pediatric forensic medical suite, nurse’s office, interview rooms, group and individual therapy rooms, and an expanded waiting area as well as office space for the multidisciplinary MCCAC team.

The interior lobby area features sloped ceilings to the cupola skylight and bright, cheerful colors. To accommodate overflow and separate different types of cases, there are three connected waiting areas, designed to be comfortable and welcoming for children and their families.

A one-story structure was designed to a child-friendly scale (completed in 2009), while an adjoining facility was built in 2015 to house MCCAC’s medical, treatment, and other professionals. The attached buildings offer separate entrances for families and law enforcement personnel. The exterior has a sloped roof design that reduces the building’s scale and gives it a residential feel. Large-scale columns add a playful touch.

This project was completed through a public-private partnership, with federal, state, and county funds as well as private donations supporting the project.