Children's Advocacy Center
Children's Advocacy Centers (CAC) provide a child-friendly, safe and neutral location in which law enforcement and Child Protective Services investigators may conduct and observe forensic interviews with children who are alleged victims of crimes, abuse and neglect. Children receive a specialized medical examination and non-offending family members receive support, crisis intervention and referrals for mental health and other services. CACs are designed to reduce trauma to child victims by coordinating services, reducing the number of times a child must be interviewed and improving the quality of the investigation.
Partners is the only CAC in Spokane and the only agency to provide child forensic interviews and legal advocacy services to child victims. Partners' CAC reduces emotional stress to child victims of crime and ensures developmentally appropriate evaluations. Partners' CAC staff explain counseling resources and make referrals, and participate in case planning which results in greater success in prevention and prosecution.
Partners' CAC also provides specialty medical examinations and hospital consultations focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of child abuse and neglect. The physical examinations occur on-site, working closely with Child Protective Services, law enforcement and other community medical providers. Hospital consults occur at the local area hospitals.
In 2005, Partners became accredited as a Children's Advocacy Center by the National Children’s Alliance. In order to became an accredited center, Partners has to meet ten rigorously defined and measured standards for the multidisciplinary diagnosis & treatment of child victims of sexual/physical assault and/or abuse.
In 2015, Partners’ Children’s Advocacy Center:
- provided specialized medical examinations and/or forensic interviews to 351 children from
- 22 counties in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, and
- legal advocacy services to 57 children and 80 family members.
- In addition, 1,425 individuals received referrals, personal advocacy and crisis counseling services.
Law enforcement, Child Protective Services or medical professionals may refer a child for evaluation at Partners.