In an ideal world, no child would be abused. The reality is that many children are abused. Children’s Advocacy Centers bring together, in one location, child abuse professionals who can support the needs of the child victims and their families.
WHAT IS A CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER (CAC)?
A Children’s Advocacy Center is woven and tied together by community agencies and professionals. The team works together to reduce the trauma victims experience and enhance the ability to respond to child maltreatment. CACs provide hope and healing to victims and their families.
Within the CAC seven core disciplines form a multi-disciplinary team and lead the child maltreatment investigation with efficiency. Team members and CAC staff provide services to victims and non-offending family members at child-friendly facilities.
The CAC utilizes a joint investigative approach, where information can flow seamlessly among the professionals who need it. The CAC assists families, helping them understand the system, and refer to needed resources and services. We help children cope with trauma of sexual abuse and then move toward healing. The CAC also provides a variety of prevention programs, providing outreach to schools and the community to stop abuse before it happens.
In many ways, a Children’s Advocacy Center is like a quilt, bringing together individual pieces to form a source of comfort for victims and their families from beginning to end.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A CAC?
A Children’s Advocacy Center can provide many benefits, both to victims and families and the community as a whole.
For victims and their families, the benefits of a CAC are readily apparent:
- Consistent and prompt follow-up to abuse reports
- Consistent and compassionate support for the child and family
- Referrals to professionals with expertise in specialized fields
- Dramatically fewer victim interviews
- Increased successful prosecutions
Children’s Advocacy Centers are designed as a warm, non-threatening place for children, where feelings of safety and security prevail –much like the comfort of a familiar quilt.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Childhood abuse and neglect aren’t just factors in how children feel and act in childhood. The effects of abuse often guide actions and feelings long into adulthood. In fact, one of every three abused or neglected children will grow up to become an abusive parent.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect
- Inadequate nurturing or affection
- Visible marks of maltreatment
- Reluctance to go home
- Alienation and withdrawal
- Failure to provide adequate food, clothing, or hygiene
- Reckless disregard for the child’s safety
- Child not enrolled in school or has excessive absences
- Dirty, ill-fitting, ragged, and/or unsuitable clothing
- Unwashed appearance; offensive body odor
- Indicators of hunger
- Lack of supervision
How You Can Help
- Don’t be afraid to get involved
- Report the problem to someone who can help
- Listen and be a source of comfort
Call The Family Resource Center’s 24-hour hotline
We can help