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Child Advocacy Centers: One Stop on the Road to Performance-based Child Protection

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Abstract:

One-stop child advocacy centers (CAC) are designed to help alleviate many of the inherent conflicts in the
current child protection system. Child advocacy centers' number one goal is to reduce trauma to the child
abuse victim by coordinating a child's interview to include professionals from multiple agencies, reducing
the number of interviews and improving the quality of the investigation. This study reviews the background and characteristics of the child advocacy center model, discusses the role of child advocacy centers in the conflict between the therapeutic and judicial models of child protection, presents new survey data from CAC executive directors about performance measurement practices, reviews the current literature on child advocacy center performance, and presents recommendations for improving the quality of outcome measurements for child advocacy centers.