How the CAC Model Works
Why is the Children’s Advocacy Center model so important? How does it make a difference for child victims of abuse? At its core, the model is about teamwork – bringing the agency professionals involved in a case together on the front end – and about putting the needs of the child victim first. So rather than having a child taken from agency to agency throughout the law enforcement and child protection systems, and having to endure multiple, sequential interviews, the CAC model brings the system to the child, and brings the agency professionals together to work in a collaborative approach that results in effective, efficient and child-centered casework.
- CACs show significantly more evidence of coordinated investigations.
- More children involved with a CAC receive specialized medical evaluation.
- More children involved in a CAC are referred to mental health services.
Parents and caregivers of children served by CACs are more satisfied with the investigation process than those of a comparison sample.
Child Advocacy Centers Save Money
A recent national cost-benefit analysis of the Children’s Advocacy Center model shows that CACs save approximately $1,000 per case in services to children and families during the course of a child abuse investigation.
On a per-case basis, traditional investigations were 36% more expensive than a CAC investigation. The cost of a CAC investigation averaged $2,902 compared to $3,949 for a traditional abuse investigation.