How does the CAC model work?
CACs work alongside law enforcement and other agencies to handle situations where a home may not be suitable for a child, or where a child has been abused. Where law enforcement may take immediate action, CACs help take more investigative action. Working with police or state child services agencies, CACs interview children, review cases, and present information to attorneys, courts, and child service advocates. Those partners can then take appropriate legal action. Look at this chart to see how cases flow into and out of a CAC.
How many CACs are there in Indiana?
There are 27 Children’s Advocacy Centers in Indiana – located in rural areas, towns, and cities across the state. Designed to meet the unique needs of the particular community in which it is located, no two centers are exactly alike, but all strive to meet the national standards for accreditation set by National Children’s Alliance. There are more than 750 Children’s Advocacy Centers nationwide. You can find a CAC near you now.
What is a CAC?
CACs – Children’s Advocacy Centers – are child-focused, facility-based programs with representatives from many disciplines working together to effectively investigate, prosecute, and treat child abuse. CAC locations are not only child-focused, but designed to create a sense of safety and security for child victims.
Are Children’s Advocacy Centers a daycare facility as well?
No. CACs are not daycare facilities and children are not left alone without a non-offending parent or caregiver except in rare circumstances where an emergency exists until they arrive.
Do CACs have the ability for overnight stays by children of alleged abuse and neglect?
What is a Mandated Reporter law and does Indiana have one?
Almost every state has some form of a Mandated Reporter law. These important laws specify who is obligated to report a suspicion of child abuse. Many states require physicians and teachers to report suspected abuse to authorities. Some states include or exclude other professions and groups, such as church leaders and clergy. In Indiana, everyone is a mandated reporter. Meaning if you suspect child abuse you are required to call 911 or the Indiana Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-800-5556. Failure to report a suspected case of child abuse can be held against you. Learn more about Indiana’s mandated reporter law.
What are the signs of child abuse?
Signs of child abuse vary and aren’t always obvious, but some common signs include depression, unexplained changes in behavior, anxiousness, poor relationships with their parents, being uncharacteristically scared or aggressive, running away, choosing clothes that cover or reveal large parts of their body in inappropriate places, and knowledge of adult issues or sexual acts inappropriate for their age. Read more about the signs of abuse, neglect, and sexual assault in kids and teens.
Is yelling at a child a form of abuse?
Not always, but it can be if the yelling is frequent, hurtful, and intended to abuse a child. Learn more about yelling at kids and abusive language.
What is grooming?
Grooming is a series of actions and steps an abuser takes to prepare a child for more aggressive sexual assault. For instance, an abuser may buy gifts for a young child, engage in light petting or kissing, and increase the grooming process over time. Learn more about grooming and how to recognize the signs.
I have a problem or question with or about my Child Advocacy Center. Who do I contact?
The Indiana Chapter is not equipped or capable of learning the details of individual cases. If you have a question or concern, contact your Victim Advocate at the CAC, the CAC’s Executive Director, or the investigator on your case.
What does the Indiana Chapter provide for CACs and Hoosiers?
The Indiana Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance provides training, consulting, and education for CACs, team members, and Hoosiers. We also advocate for best practices and policies at the Indiana Statehouse. The Chapter also helps CACs develop their boards, staff, fundraising, and meet or exceed NCA Accreditation standards.
Who makes up a multidisciplinary team?
Law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy, child advocacy, work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases. Children’s Advocacy Center services and members of those teams generally include:
• A Multidisciplinary Team Response
• Child and Family Friendly Facilities
• Forensic Interviewing Services
• Victim Advocacy and Support
• Specialized Medical Evaluation and Treatment
• Specialized Mental Health Services
• Training, Education and Support for Child Abuse Professionals
• Community Education and Outreach
The Indiana Chapter is not an investigative authority
Report child abuse by calling the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556. You can report anonymously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.