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.
There are 25 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.
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.
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