Collaboration is truly the basis for CAC success. Children's Advocacy Centers may occupy impressive facilities and offer wonderful programs, but without good collaborative working relationships they can rarely be sustained over time. From the very earliest stages of CAC development, the involvement of key organizations is essential and intrinsic to the CAC approach. The local collaborative partnership should include representatives from law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, mental health and the medical community. This multidisciplinary approach is needed in order to plan and provide comprehensive services to child victims of abuse under the CAC umbrella.
The executive directors of participating agencies set the pace for collaborative efforts through their support for the development of CAC cooperative working agreements and interagency protocols. These early planning processes provide important forums for establishing long-term collaborative relations between key agencies and individuals. While these important steps usually take time to complete, they help engender crucial "ownership" of the CAC approach by customizing it to meet the needs of the local community.
If you are interested in establishing a CAC in your community, the CACVA can help! Contact Wanda Ostrander at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (540) 529-9931.