DCAC was founded in 1995 when a needs assessment confirmed that child victims "fell through the cracks" between investigators, prosecutors, human services and mental health agencies, and that the many interviews by different agencies added to the children's trauma.
Many organizations provide similar services offered by DCAC - and we work closely with almost all the organizations serving children in the Denver metro area - but our status as a child advocacy center is what makes us unique.
Before child advocacy centers were created, child victims of crime often had to tell their stories to more than a dozen adults-police officers, prosecutors, doctors, and social workers. They could be shuttled all over town giving depositions, getting medical exams, and, if the family had no money to pay for treatment, be put on long waiting lists for free counseling services. Today, they come to our welcoming, child-friendly three-house campus on Federal Boulevard where all the services they need are available in one location.
DCAC coordinates the multidisciplinary team (MDT) of first responders to reports of child abuse in the Denver metro area. The MDT includes our colleagues in the Denver Police Department, Denver District Attorney's Office, and the Denver Department of Human Services. Denver Health joined the MDT in 2010 and is currently working with us to expand access to medical care for child victims.
We are the first responders to reports of child abuse in the Denver metro area-our staff are on call 24 hours a day/365 days a year to provide crisis management for child victims and their families and to support our colleagues in the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Children and their needs are at the center of our work-our partners on the MDT-police, prosecutors, social workers and medical staff-come to DCAC to mitigate the child's trauma and to ensure integration of services along our continuum of care.
DCAC has built a reputation for working successfully with high-risk families and our mission has expanded from forensic interviews and mental health treatment to include a growing focus on prevention, early intervention through off-site community partnerships, and community education and training for professionals.