, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 165-181

Child Abuse Investigations: Reasons for using Child Advocacy Centers and Suggestions for Improvement

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Abstract

Child protective service (CPS) and child abuse law enforcement (LE) investigators have been required by the majority of states to work together when investigating criminal cases of child abuse. Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) and other. multidisciplinary models of collaboration have developed across the United States to meet these requirements. This study surveyed 290 CPS and LE investigators who use a CAC in their investigations of criminal cases of child abuse. Reasons given for using, centers, include legal or administrative mandate and protocol, child appropriate environment, support, referrals, capacity for medical exams, expertise of center interviewers and access to video and audio technology. Respondents also identified ways that centers could be more helpful.