Skip navigation; go directly to the content A-Z indexTable of contents
HomechaptersTriageHistoryPhysical ExaminationLaboratoryRadiologyDiagnosisDocumentationReportingFoster CareChildren and Adolescents with DisabilitiesJuvenile Sexualized BehaviorMultidisciplinary Approach Mulitidisciplinary Approach: Overview Multidisciplinary Approach: Medical Providers Multidisciplinary Approach: Child Protective Services Multidisciplinary Approach: Law Enforcement Multidisciplinary Approach: Prosecution Multidisciplinary Approach: Victim Advocates Multidisciplinary Approach: Mental Health Professionals Multidisciplinary Approach: Child Advocacy Centers Multidisciplinary Approach: Additional Resources Legal IssuesAppendicesspacerAbout UsContactAcknowledgementsSupport and Endorsement  


A Child Advocacy Center (CAC) provides a centralized and neutral location where abused children or adolescents and their non-offending family members or caregivers receive services in a non-threatening, child-focused setting. Using a multidisciplinary team approach, professionals conduct investigations, provide treatment and support services, and prepare for prosecution of child abuse cases. Medical providers should obtain a release of information in order to share information with the various members of the multidisciplinary team working at the Child Advocacy Center.

CACs are custom-designed to best meet the needs of the community in which they are located and can have one of any number of organizational structures. They can be designed as independent, non-profit agencies. Alternatively, they can be affiliated with a host agency such as social services, law enforcement, prosecution, or a medical or mental health agency. Services provided by CACs vary based on funding and local needs. Some serve only victims of sexual abuse while others serve all victims of abuse. As defined by the National Children's Alliance, a CAC offers the following program components:

  • Child-friendly, neutral setting
  • Multidisciplinary case review
  • Joint investigations/forensic interviews
  • Provision for medical examination and evaluation
  • Provision for mental health treatment
  • Case tracking
  • Advocacy and criminal justice system liaison
  • Community and emergency referral services

CACs may also provide:

  • Specialized training
  • Community education

Every county in New York State should eventually have a CAC. You can obtain contact information for the closest advocacy center from the New York State Children’s Alliance Child Advocacy Centers in New York, .

to top of page




© 2005-2023 All Rights Reserved
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, New York


Multidisciplinary Approach: Overview  Multidisciplinary Approach: Medical Providers  Multidisciplinary Approach: Child Protective Services  Multidisciplinary Approach: Law Enforcement  Multidisciplinary Approach: Prosecution  Multidisciplinary Approach: Victim Advocates  Multidisciplinary Approach: Mental Health Professionals  Multidisciplinary Approach: Child Advocacy Centers  Multidisciplinary Approach: Additional Resources 

Home  Table of Contents  Triage  History  Physical Examination  Laboratory  Radiology  Diagnosis  Treatment and Follow-Up  Documentation  Reporting  Foster Care  Children & Adolescents with Disabilities  Juvenile Sexualized Behavior  Multidisciplinary Approach  Legal Issues  Appendices  About Us  Contact  Acknowledgements  Support & Endorsements  Site Index