Research Supporting the Children's Advocacy Centre (CAC) Model
Today, more than 900 CACs operate in the United States. In Canada, CACs have been established in several communities, including Edmonton, Regina, Montreal and St. Catharines. The CAC movement is now an international phenomenon with the CAC model increasingly being recognized as best practice for investigating and prosecuting child abuse cases.
The Children’s Advocacy Centre model is recognized as an effective, innovative way to ensure better access to the justice system for children and youth. This approach embodies best practice standards in responding to the needs of child and youth victims of crime. Studies point to a number of benefits, which include:
· Reducing the number of interviewers and interviewing agencies the child must tell their story to (Cross, Jones, Walsh, Simone and Kolko, 2007).
· Increasing collaboration and coordination among agencies involved (Cross, Jones, Walsh, Simone and Kolko, 2007).
· Faster prosecution timelines (faster processing time for charges and disposition of cases in CAC’s) (Cross, Jones, Walsh, Simone and Kolko, 2007).
· Decreased average cost of child sexual abuse investigations - a 36% decrease in cost was found in communities served by a CAC. (Formby, Shadoin, Shao, Magnuson, & Overman, 2006).
· Increased caregiver satisfaction and a greater sense of comfort and security during interviews (Jones, Cross, Walsh and Simone, 2007).