College of Arts and Sciences
Primary Subject Area
Program Evaluation, Child Advocacy Center, Child Abuse, Convictions
In West Virginia, the law mandates a multidisciplinary team (MDIT) approach, (involving the collaboration of legal, social work, and other professionals), in dealing with child abuse. West Virginia code also mandates a periodical case review, requiring the MDIT members to review all open investigations of child abuse. In some counties, the MDIT includes a Child Advocacy Center (CAC). The CAC has three broad goals, which are (a) to make the process of reporting child abuse as easy and free of trauma as possible for the child, (b) to help coordinate the investigation, and (c) to be a strong support and resource center for the child and his family throughout and subsequent to the investigation. Professionals involved in child abuse cases in counties with a CAC find the CAC model beneficial and preferable compared to child abuse cases before there were CAC programs.