A Child Advocacy Center or CAC is a child and adolescent-friendly space where youth and their caregivers come to receive services and support through child abuse investigations. CACs were created to address the needs of child abuse victims using a centralized place where community resources come together. These community resources can include:
- Law Enforcement
- Child Protective Services
- Victim Services Advocates
- Forensic Interviewers
- Forensic Medical Examiners
Together, these community resources are known as a Multidisciplinary Team or MDT. Each family is provided services by a unique MDT of collaborators whose goal is to minimize both the short and long-term effects of trauma from child abuse. Evidence is collected using developmentally appropriate, legally-sound and research-informed practices that facilitate better outcomes when cases reach prosecution.
Click on the image below to watch a short video clip explaining what happens when a child visits a CAC: