What is a CAC?

A Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is a supportive environment designed to provide a safe, child-friendly space where children who may have experienced abuse or witnessed a crime can speak about their experiences. At a CAC, multidisciplinary teams of professionals work together to coordinate investigations and support services, ensuring that children receive care that is trauma-informed and justice-oriented. Our goal is to minimize the child’s stress throughout the investigative process, provide families with the necessary resources for healing, and advocate for the child’s safety and well-being.

CAC Model

Without the structured and coordinated approach provided by a CAC, the disclosure process may be more fragmented and potentially re-traumatizing for the child. Without a CAC, there may be a lack of coordination among the various agencies and professionals involved in responding to child abuse cases. This can result in delays, miscommunication, and gaps in the provision of services to the child and their family. Professionals involved in responding to child abuse cases may not have received specialized training in interviewing child victims, conducting forensic examinations, or providing trauma-informed care. This can increase the risk of inadvertently re-traumatizing the child during interviews and assessments. In the absence of a CAC, the child may be subjected to multiple interviews and assessments by different agencies and professionals, each with their own protocols and procedures. This can be overwhelming and distressing for the child, leading to further trauma. With the centralized coordination provided by a CAC, the risk of inconsistencies in the provision of support services to child victims and their families is significantly reduced. Through the CAC’s multidisciplinary approach, all aspects of a child abuse case are systematically addressed, ensuring that every child receives the comprehensive support they need. Without this centralized coordination, some children may inadvertently fall through the cracks and not receive the assistance they require for healing and recovery.

NCA Standards for Accreditation

The Red River Children’s Advocacy Center is proud to be an accredited CAC. Accreditation is a rigorous, multi-year process that ensures Child Advocacy Centers meet the highest standards in child abuse response and prevention. It involves an extensive review by the National Children’s Alliance, considering factors like multidisciplinary team approach, cultural competency, and evidence-based practices. Accredited centers must demonstrate excellence in providing comprehensive services, from forensic interviewing and medical evaluations to advocacy and therapeutic interventions. This process ensures that every child and family receives consistent, quality care that adheres to the best practices in the field.