What is a Child Advocacy Center?

Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) are community-based, child friendly, multidisciplinary services for children and families affected by child sexual abuse or physical abuse. CAC’s bring together, in one location, Child Protective Services caseworkers, law enforcement, district attorney’s, victim advocates and medical and mental health professionals to provide a coordinated, comprehensive response to victims and their caregivers.

Before our CAC existed, the “system” was doing more harm than good to victims of child abuse. Children repeated their stories over and over again. They were questioned in ER’s, police stations, schools, doctor’s offices and being re-traumatized each time they had to repeat the stories of the trauma they experienced.

CACs are designed to meet the needs of the community in which it is located so no two centers are exactly alike.

Now, our partners, Child Protective Services, local law enforcement, prosecutors and medical professionals come together in one location. Children tell their story once to a trained forensic interviewer, get a medical exam, meet with a therapist when needed and are linked with a victim advocate. All team members work together to provide the child and family the support services they need – from the beginning to the end of the process.

The CAC is built on a multidisciplinary team approach by providing a non-threatening child focused environment. Our location is central and neutral for families and team members. The CAC provides supportive care for the child as well as the family. Our advocates work with the NYS Office of Victim Services and help families to navigate the application process. The advocates will also refer families to appropriate counseling centers where it will be convenient for them to get the services they need.

Our Partners

Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) and partner members include:

  • Erie County Department of Social Services
  • Child Protective Services
  • Office of Cousel
  • Amherst Police Department
  • Buffalo Police Department
  • City of Tonawanda Police Department
  • Depew Police Department
  • Town of Hamburg Police Department
  • Eden Police Department
  • West Seneca Police Department
  • Village of East Aurora/Town of Aurora Police Department

  • FBI-Buffalo office
  • Evans Police Department
  • Cheektowaga Police Department
  • New York State Police
  • Erie County Sheriff’s Department
  • Town of Tonawanda Police Department
  • Lackawanna Police Department
  • Lancaster Police Department
  • Village of Hamburg Police Department
  • Village of Kenmore Police Department
  • Orchard Park Police Department

  • Erie County Probation Department
  • Village of Akron Police Department
  • Erie County Office of the District Attorney
  • John R Oishei Children’s Hospital
  • Department of Social Services – Office of Counsel
  • Office of the County Attorney
  • Crisis Services, Inc.
  • International Institute of Buffalo
  • BestSelf Behavioral Health
  • Seneca Nation of Indians/Cattaraugus Indian Reservation