What is a CAC?
Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) are child-friendly centers where a multidisciplinary team consisting of Department of Children and Families workers, police, medical and mental health professionals, prosecutors, and victim advocates meets to coordinate a response to allegations of child sexual and severe physical abuse.
CACs are designed to reduce the stress experienced by child victims of abuse and their non-offending family members throughout the investigation and intervention process. By focusing first on the needs of children and their families, CACs ensure that many important services are provided, by improving the quality of investigations. CACs reduce the need for children to "tell their story" repeatedly by coordinating a single forensic interview to gather interview to gather the information needed by each member of the multidisciplinary team to successfully investigate allegations of abuse.
Through the CAC, children and families are linked to medical, mental health, victim advocacy, and other services as determined on a case by case basis. Medical professionals with the specialized skills to conduct therapeutically and forensically sound medical evaluations are available to meet with children in a fully-equipped medical examination room at the CAC.
Provided by the Massachusetts Children's Alliance.