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NCJ Number: 221231 Find in a Library
Title: Children's Advocacy Centers: Do They Lead to Positive Case Outcomes?
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:31  Issue:10  Dated:October 2007  Pages:1021-1029
Author(s): Kathleen Coulborn Faller; Vincent J. Palusci
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study summarized findings reported in three articles on the effectiveness of Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs).
Abstract: The first article examined the impact of CACs on medical evaluations, focusing on sexual abuse examinations, and measuring the frequency and characteristics of sexual abuse victims who received a forensic medical examination. The findings indicate that most caregivers who were interviewed were satisfied with the medical, professional, and examination process. Results show that 48 percent of the CAC sample had an exam versus 21 percent in the comparison sample. The CACs were not uniform in characteristics of medical assessments and the range was from all children referred immediately for in-house examinations, to CACs where selected cases were referred to medical providers in the community or to a distant referral center weeks later. The second article examined the interview process, the numbers of interviews conducted, and investigative coordination. Results indicate that CACs were more likely to conduct interviews in a child-friendly environment than the comparison communities; the results regarding investigative coordination were mixed; and there was no information directly addressing the quality or characteristics of interviews. However, most of the interviewers at CACs had attended national training sessions, whereas most interviewers in comparison communities had been trained locally. The third article addressed client satisfaction with the investigative process. Both caregivers and children were surveyed. Parents were generally more satisfied with the CAC investigations than non-CAC investigations. However, their child’s level of internalizing problems also predicted satisfaction: the less troubled the child, the more satisfied the parent was with the investigation. Caregivers of children whose allegations were investigated wanted their child to be believed, as indicated by higher satisfaction ratings when investigators believed abuse had occurred and CPS substantiated the case. The only difference found for children was that they were less scared if they were interviewed at a CAC than at a non-CAC site. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child protection services
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Child victim interviews; Child victims; Medical evaluation
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