In years past, when a child was suspected to have been the victim of abuse, the child was required to travel all over town to places such as the Police Department, Child Protective Services office, Sheriff's Department or the County/District Attorney's office - and many times, to a doctor for examination. These places can be intimidating for anyone - imagine how it must feel for a small child. By the time it was all said and done, the child victim may have repeated their story of abuse 5-10 different times to strangers over the course of weeks or months.
Before Children's Advocacy Centers, this was the process for investigating child sexual and physical abuse cases. Children who had suffered unbelievable trauma had to relive their pain repeatedly in a variety of strange and scary surroundings.
Children's Advocacy Center's changed all that by operating on the fundamental belief that protecting our children requires us to make our system work at their level. The Center is a place where children can feel safe and protected as they go through the difficult process of describing what happened to them. These children travel to fewer investigative agencies, go through fewer interviews, and wait less time for critical services such as counseling and medical exams.
CAC's utilize a Multi-Disciplinary Team that includes team members from local law enforcement, Child Protective Services, county and district attorney's, mental health professionals and medical professionals. This Multi-Disciplinary Team works the most severe child abuse cases together as a team- sharing information and collaborating; making decisions based on the child's best interest. CAC's provide the essential services that child victims and their non-offending family members need as they go through a child abuse investigation.
To find a CAC in your area: