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Our Mission

The mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is to reduce the devastating long-term effects that child abuse has on children, their families and society through immediate, coordinated, child focused services, education, and advocacy.

Our Vision

A World Without Child Abuse.

About the Children’s Advocacy Center

We’re a comprehensive, child-focused program based in a safe and child-friendly center that facilitates law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, behavioral health, social services, and medical communities working together when intervening in child abuse cases. The main goal of all Children’s Advocacy Centers is to make sure that children are not further traumatized or victimized by the systems designed to protect them. We accomplish this by working together as a multidisciplinary team and interviewing children with specially trained and experienced forensic interviewers in a manner that is legally sound, follows nationally accepted “best practices,” and minimizes duplicative and unnecessary interviews.

Why We Use a Children's Advocacy Center in Delaware

Let’s take a look at Robin’s case which helps illustrate why using the CAC model is in the best interest of children.

As we follow Robin’s case without a Children’s Advocacy Center, we can see what used to happen when a child reported allegations of abuse. Robin had to tell her story over and over again to professionals involved in the multidisciplinary team response, making her vulnerable to further traumatization and at risk for re-victimization.

Fortunately, today in Delaware, investigations of child abuse are routinely conducted by a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) which includes the Children’s Advocacy Center, law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, child protection workers, forensic interviewers, as well as mental health and medical services providers.

As we follow Robin’s case with a Children’s Advocacy Center, we can see how cases are now handled in Delaware.

Robin is interviewed in a safe, child focused environment by a specially trained and experienced forensic interviewer. Representatives from child protection, law enforcement, Department of Justice, mental health, and medical services providers observe the interview in a separate room in order to gather the information they each need so as to ensure that Robin receives necessary services in a timely manner so that she can begin the healing process.

Child Abuse cases handled through the Children’s Advocacy Center / Multidisciplinary Team process facilitate a more effective, wholistic, and cost-efficient response to allegations of Child Abuse, which in turn provides for a better outcome for child victims.

Services Provided by the CAC

The CAC provides the following services in a child-friendly setting in order to assist in the assessment and the investigation of child abuse cases while ensuring that children and their families receive immediate, effective and sensitive support:

  • Forensic Interviews of children who are suspected victims of abuse or who may have witnessed a violent crime
  • Forensic Interviews of adults with disabilities who are suspected victims of abuse or who may have witnessed a violet crime
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Non-clinical assessments of child and families social, mental health and medical services needs
  • Facilitation and coordination of multidisciplinary team meetings
  • Court testimony
  • Technical assistance and training

History of the Children’s Advocacy Center Model

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Today Today
  • Child abuse rose to the forefront in America.
  • There was a mass increase in reported child abuse and neglect cases to local child protection agencies.
  • Children were forced to re-tell and thus re-live their experiences time and time again due to the fact that Delaware’s child welfare and protection agencies were not functioning collaboratively as a multidisciplinary team (MDT).
  • Children were being retraumatized and revictimized by the very system that was attempting to help them.
  • The National Children’s Advocacy Center is founded in Huntsville, Alabama.
  • The Center meets the needs of abused children in a warm, non-threatening environment.
  • The focus is on the child victim and his or her family.
  • The Center and its multidisciplinary team work together to respond to child abuse in a coordinated manner.
  • The National Children’s Advocacy Center has become a model for the country and the world.
  • A community-based task force was formed to create better ways to serve abused children and their families in Delaware.
  • The community-based task force spent the next two years researching and reviewing other systems/models and determined that Delaware needed a Children’s Advocacy Center to serve our children and families.
  • A recommendation by the task force provided for Delaware to establish a Children’s Advocacy Center where expert multidisciplinary teams provide child-focused, coordinated services in a safe child-friendly setting.
  • The first Delaware Children’s Advocacy Center began operating in New Castle County at Nemours A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children.
  • Delaware opens a second Center in Milford to serve Kent and Sussex County families.
  • The Milford Center was relocated to Georgetown and a third Center is opened in Dover.
  • By having Centers in all three counties of Delaware, the Children’s Advocacy Center can now ensure that all children and families are provided equal access to our services.
  • There are now over 1000 Children’s Advocacy Centers across the US and 34 countries, with more developing.
  • The Children’s Advocacy Center of Delaware continues to provide an array of services for children and families statewide.

Do you suspect abuse? Call 1-800-292-9582 anytime, 24/7/365. For more information, click here:

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