The Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) provides a place where those agencies in charge of responding to child abuse can come together to share information, gather facts, and assist child abuse victims through a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach.
We are one of many children’s advocacy centers across the country with the mission of reducing the trauma experienced by child victims of abuse as they navigate the legal, investigative, social services and mental health systems following an allegation of abuse.
1. The DCAC multidisciplinary team (MDT) consists of representatives from law enforcement, social services, prosecution, mental health, medical, advocacy and staff from federal, state, tribal and local agencies.
2. Leadership from participating agencies has signed an interagency agreement that is reviewed annually.
3. MDT representation is present at the beginning and throughout the case involvement including participating in forensic interviews, pre- and post- team meetings, case review evaluation, treatment and prosecution.
4. MDT members share information according to individual agency and state guidelines.
5. Representatives from all disciplines are assigned by their respective agencies.
6. State law requires that CPS and law enforcement cooperate within 24 hours on all sexual and serious physical abuse cases.
7. The DCAC annually serves approximately 35 counties across North Dakota.
8. The DCAC serves children affected by all types of trauma including sexual abuse and physical abuse as well as those who witness violence.
9. The DCAC provides opportunities for members of the MDT to receive ongoing and relevant cross- discipline training including:
- Lunch and Learns
- Edunet opportunities including peer review
- National training opportunities when available
- Local DCAC-sponsored trainings
- Yearly training as to the nature and purpose of the medical evaluation
10. MDT members participate in case review meetings.
11. Issues or concerns that cannot be resolved by the team members may be brought by any team member to the DCAC Director or the Board of Directors for discussion and resolution.
12. Team members are encouraged to regularly provide feedback and suggestions regarding procedures and operations of the DCAC.