Mother Child W Physician

Community Partnerships and the CAC Model of Care

Child Advocacy and Protection Services (CAPS) is a joint program between Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin. It is the largest hospital-based Child Advocacy Center network in the nation. Annually, we serve over 7,000 children statewide. The program operates child advocacy centers (CACs) in Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Milwaukee, Winnebago, Marathon, and Eau Claire Counties and medical satellite offices in Brown, Ozaukee, and Waukesha Counties. It also includes a hospital-based consult team in Milwaukee.

Child Advocacy Centers bring together a specially trained team of professionals to support the investigation of child maltreatment. Collaborative community partnerships of the CAPS program include child protective services (CPS), law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, mental health providers, medical providers, victim advocates, and school systems. Each CAC provides a child focused and safe environment for the patient and family to receive high quality comprehensive care. Services include forensic interviews, specialized medical evaluations, mental health services, as well as youth and family advocacy services.

Our Child Advocacy Centers are accredited by the National Children’s Alliance (NCA). NCA ensures that all children across the U.S. served by CACs receive consistent, evidence-based services that help promote healing. As such, the CAPS program upholds the national standards for accreditation and the CAC Model of Care.

The CAC Model of Care facilitates an evidence-based multi-disciplinary approach to reduce re-traumatization during the investigative process. In support of this model, the NCA standards uphold that communities embracing a CAC model utilize a Joint Protocol. Each Joint Protocol is unique to the given community, while ensuring a multi-disciplinary partnership and collaboration. This allows for case weekly and monthly staffings to be facilitated, information to be shared confidentially between partners, and prioritizes that the child’s and family’s needs are kept at the center while an investigation proceeds. This protocol also ensures proper checks and balances for each agency’s role in the model. This multi-disciplinary approach results in more collaborative and efficient case investigations, thus improving outcomes and experiences for the patient and family.