What is a Children’s Advocacy Center?
A Children's Advocacy Center ("CAC") is a non-profit 501(c) 3 that provides a comprehensive, culturally competent, multi-disciplinary team response to allegations of child abuse in a dedicated, child-friendly setting. A CAC brings together members of the child protection, law enforcement, prosecution, victim advocacy, medical and mental health communities to provide child victims and their non-offending family members with comprehensive services designed to meet their individual needs. Many CAC models exist across the United States. Some operate as non-profit organizations, while others operate under the umbrella of a prosecutor's office, hospital or mental health agency. Each is designed to best serve their community by fostering collaboration among the agencies involved with children who make allegations of abuse to evaluate the allegation with regard to protective and safety concerns, mental health issues, medical treatment, and possible prosecution.
Without intervention, 1/3 of abused and neglected children will later continue the cycle and abuse their own children.
CACs in Massachusetts are supported by the Massachusetts Children's Alliance, our National Children's Alliance state chapter.