WHO WE ARE
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Oklahoma, Inc. (CACO) was established in 1999 to deliver support, training and technical assistance to Oklahoma Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) and Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) in their efforts to provide collaborative and coordinated responses to victims of child abuse and neglect.
The 20 CACs represented by CACO are all accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. CACO staff also offers support to communities interested in establishing an accredited center.
The National Children’s Alliance explains the work of CACs by stating, “When police or child protective services believe a child is being abused, the child is brought to the CAC—a safe, child-focused environment—by a caregiver or other “safe” adult. At the CAC, the child tells their story once to a trained interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not not re-traumatize the child. Then, a team that includes medical professionals, law enforcement, mental health, prosecution, child protective services, victim advocacy, and other professionals make decisions together about how to help the child based on the interview. CACs offer therapy and medical exams, plus courtroom preparation, victim advocacy, case management, and other services. This is called the multidisciplinary team (MDT) response and is a core part of the work of CACs.”
It is CACO’s mission to unite and support child abuse professionals to protect Oklahoma’s children.