Standards for Accreditation
Purpose of the Standars for Accredited Members: To ensure that all children across the U.S. who are served by Children's Advocacy Centers receive consistent, evidence-based interventions that help them heal.
In addition to serving as the set of standards by which Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) may be accredited as capable of providing consistent and evidence based healing interventions, the Standards for Accredited Members also perform several secondary functions. The Standards 1) act as a compass for CACs during leadership transition so that Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs), Boards, and other stakeholders know how to maintain the course; 2) to serve as a valuable roadmap for the high-quality work of Accredited CACs to policymakers, funders, and supporters.
Standard 1: Multidisciplinary Team
A multidisciplinary team for response to child abuse allegations includes representation from law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medical, mental health, victim advocacy, and Children's Advocacy Centers fields.
Standard 2: Cultural Compentency & Diversity
The Children's Advocacy Center provides culturally competent services for all CAC clients throughout the life of the case.
Standard 3: Forensic Interviews
Forensic interviews are conducted in a manner that is legally sound, of a neutral, fact-finding nature, and are coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing.
Standard 4: Victim Support & Advocacy
Victim support and advocacy services are provided to all CAC clients and their caregivers as part of the multidisciplinary team response.
Standard 5: Medical Evaluation
Specialized medical evaluation and treatment services are abvailable to all CAC clients and coordinated as part of the multidisciplinary team response.
Standard 6: Mental Health
Evidence-based, trauma-focused mental health services, designed to meet the unique needs of the children and caregivers, are consistenly available as part of the multidisciplinary response.
Standard 7: Case Review
A formal process in which multidisciplinary discussion and information sharing regarding the investigation, case status and services needed by the child and family is to occure on a routine basis.
Standard 8: Case Tracking
Children's Advocacy Centers must develop and implement a system for monitoring case progress and tracking case outcomes for all MDT components
Standard 9: Organizational Capacity
A designated legal entity responsible for program and fiscal operations has been established and implements basic sound administrative policies and procedures.
Standard 10: Child Focused Setting
The child-focused setting is comfortable, private, and both physically and psychologically safe for diverse populations of children and their family members.