The Accredited CAC Model

To ensure that all children across the U.S. served by Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) receive consistent, evidence-based interventions that help them heal from abuse, hundreds of CACs have become Accredited Members of the National Children’s Alliance by meeting the ten standards below and verifying their adherence to the highest standards of practice by submitting to NCA site review.


Standard 1: Multidisciplinary Team:
A multidisciplinary team for response to child abuse allegations includes representation from the following: law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, mental health, medical provider, victim advocacy, and a Children’s Advocacy Center.

Standard 2: Cultural Competency and Diversity:
Culturally competent services are routinely made available to all CAC clients and coordinated with the Multi-disciplinary Team Response.

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 and Advocacy:
Victim support and advocacy services are routinely made available to all CAC clients and their non-offending family members as part of the multidisciplinary team response.

Standard 5: Medical Evaluation:
Specialized medical evaluation and treatment services are routinely made available to all CAC clients and coordinated with the Multidisciplinary Team response.

Standard 6: Mental Health:
Specialized trauma-focused mental health services, designed to meet the unique needs of the children and non-offending family members, are routinely made available as part of the multi-disciplinary team 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 occur 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 non-offending family members.

Standard 11: Commercial Exploitation of Children (CSEC):
The CAC identifies, screens, and provides services to children and youth who are at risk of, or have experienced the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).

Standard 12: Child Abuse Prevention:
The CAC provides evidence-supported child abuse prevention education, training, and community awareness.

Standard 13: Physical Abuse:
Specialized care, evaluation, and treatment services are available to all clients in cases of alleged physical abuse and are coordinated as part of the multidisciplinary team response.