Children’s Advocacy Center
Breaking the cycle of abuse, one child at a time.
What is Child Advocacy?
The Child Advocacy Model of Child Protection began in 1985 in Huntsville, Alabama and provides a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to child abuse. Prior to this approach, abused children were forced to tell and retell the uncomfortable details of their abuse to police, child protective services, medical personnel, educators and others. This stressful process was often as terrifying to children as the trauma they originally suffered.
At the Children’s Advocacy Center, children relate the details of their abuse one time, to a trained interviewer in a home-like, safe atmosphere. The disclosure is recorded and the video is shared with law enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office.
Additional sharing of information is accomplished through the multi-disciplinary team. In addition to the Child Protection Team and Family & Child Trauma Treatment Services, the multi-disciplinary team consists of law enforcement, State’s Attorney, Department of Children and Families, Guardian Ad Litem, the judicial system and school district personnel. All agencies involved with the child and family meet at the Advocacy Center and create an informed, coordinated plan that provides optimal, unduplicated community services.