Why use the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) model?

The Old Way:


These pictures help illustrate why the CAC model is in the best interest of the child. The first picture illustrates what used to happen when a child needed help with abuse. The child has to tell their story over and over again to everyone involved in the investigation; often making the child vulnerable and at risk of re-victimization. Today in Tennessee, state statute mandates that all investigations of severe child abuse are conducted by the Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT). The CPIT includes law enforcement, Department of hildren’s Services Child Protective Services, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals.


The CAC Way:


The second picture illustrates what happens today when a child is abused and the investigation is coordinated by the CAC with the involvement of the entire Child Protective Investigation Team (CPIT) team. A Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is an ideal starting place for a child abuse investigation.At the CAC the entire team is able to maintain focus on the child through the process of sharing physical space, time and information. Because cooperating professionals reduce the number of interviews, observe the victim together and hold joint staffings, the process is much less frightening to the child victims. By eliminating duplication of effort and needless delays and by assuring cooperative follow-up, CACs improve effectiveness of all agencies, some of which formerly may have worked in isolation.

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