Children’s Advocacy Centers were established in the 1980s to coordinate the individuals and agencies involved in the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child maltreatment cases and provide support for the child victim and their non-offending family members.
Professionals from the child protection, investigative, legal and medical systems would interview the child separately and repeatedly in police stations and other environments designed for adults. Many times these interviews were done solely to meet the diverse and conflicting requirements of the agencies involved, rather than the needs of the child. Successful prosecution was rare. The victims seldom received the support and treatment needed.
The heart of the Children’s Advocacy Center is a multidisciplinary team made up of six core disciplines: social services, law enforcement, medical, prosecution, advocacy and mental health, who strive together to make the process as comfortable and helpful as possible for the child.
1991Task force created in Fargo to identify how to best serve sexually abused children.
1996Task force created in Bismarck to identify how to best serve sexually abused children.
1997Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center established in Bismarck.
1998Dakota CAC becomes an Accredited Member of the National Children’s Alliance.
2002Task force created in Fargo to start a CAC.
2004Red River CAC becomes an Associate Member CAC with the National Children’s Alliance. State Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance formed.
2005North Dakota Legislature passes legislation that defines a Children’s Advocacy Center and appropriates state funding.
2006Task force created in Minot. Red River CAC becomes an Accredited Member of the National Children’s Alliance.
2007Northern Plains CAC becomes an Associate Member of the National Children’s Alliance. North Dakota Legislature increases amount of state funding for the CACs.
2010The Children’s Advocacy Center of North Dakota hires its first full-time coordinator. CACND registers as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.
2011Northern Plains CAC becomes an Accredited Member of the National Children’s Alliance.
2017CACND creates growth and stability plan.The Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center becomes an independent 501c3 Organization.
North Dakota’s Children’s Advocacy Centers are an integral part of each county’s ability to respond to child abuse allegations and to provide essential services needed to ensure the health and well-being of North Dakota’s suspected child abuse victims.
Each center coordinates investigations and provides medical exams, interviews, advocacy and mental health support to children who are referred to them when there are allegations of child abuse.
“I am so glad there is this organization! It is so helpful to our families.”