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About Child Advocacy Centers

Child 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 during 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 services.

Utilizing a joint investigative team approach, Child Advocacy Centers are facility-based community partnerships dedicated to pursuing the truth in child abuse investigations.

Professionals work as an 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 Child 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 forensic interviewers who have attended a 40 hour, specialized training course designed to teach skills to conduct a forensic interview. Each Child Advocacy Center has a child friendly interview room and a setting that allows team members to observe interviews and 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 processes and provides client education regarding the investigation, the prosecution and information regarding rights of a crime victim and local services available to all clients.

In 2003, the Kansas Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers formed a chapter of the National Children's Alliance and promotes the development, growth, and continuation of Child Advocacy Centers in Kansas.  The Chapter accomplishes this 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.