CACs are locations within a community where abused children and their non-offending family members can go following a report of sexual abuse. These local centers provide:
CACs create a mentally and physically safe environment for children. They also provide a place where the multidisciplinary team (MDT) can convene, so the child does not have to go to see each professional separately. This reduces the chance of additional trauma and the number of interviews or disclosures the child must give, reducing potential evidence collection errors and increasing the chance of successful prosecution.
Statistics show that investigations at a CAC were less expensive and resulted in a more thorough investigation than traditional investigations. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention:
National Children’s Alliance accreditation is important. Accreditation means a child who goes to an accredited CAC in Montana gets the same standard of services they would get anywhere in the United States.
Nationally accredited centers meet ten standards of performance set by the National Children’s Alliance.
Together, the network of CACs and MDTs comprise the Children’s Alliance of Montana. As the state chapter of the National Children’s Alliance, the group’s goals are to: