About Children's Advocacy Centers
Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) are child-focused, community-oriented facilities in which members of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) work together in child abuse investigations. An MDT consists of a member of law enforcement, child protective services, a prosecutor, a victim advocate, a forensic interviewer, a mental health professional, and someone from the medical community.
This team approach ensures that the child is not subjected to
numerous interviews in the course of an investigation and that the
investigation begins in a child-friendly environment in which the
child's needs come first, while also providing for follow-up
Utilizing a joint investigative team approach, Children's Advocacy Centers are facility-based community partnerships dedicated to pursuing the truth in child abuse investigations.
Professionals work as a MDT to investigate and intervene in cases of suspected child abuse, primarily sexual abuse. Attention to the needs and abilities of children is the hallmark of a Children's Advocacy Center.
Designed as a safe and welcoming place for children to be heard, CACs ensure that children are not further victimized by the interventions intended to protect them.
CACs use interviewers who have attended a specialized training course designed to teach skills to conduct a forensic interview. Each Children's Advocacy Center has a child friendly interview room and a setting that allows team members to observe interviews and to communicate with the interviewer during the interview.
Victim support and advocacy are available to children and families throughout the investigation and prosecution. The advocate is available throughout the investigation and prosecution and provides client education regarding investigation, prosecution and treatment including information regarding rights of a crime victim and local services available to all clients.
The Kansas Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers formed a chapter of the National Childrens' Alliance in 2003 and promotes the development, growth, and continuation of Children's Advocacy Centers in Kansas through education and training, mentoring, collaboration, advocacy, and development of resources and legislation. Training is provided to enhance professional skills and to develop cutting edge best practices.