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Child Advocacy Centers are centralized locations where all responders to a sexual assault within a community can respond to a victim. They were developed to limit the number of times a child has to “tell their story” and the number of people from various stages of the system to which the victim has to respond.
As directed by Wis. Stats. 16.964(14), OJA provides 14 annual grants of $20,000 each to specified child advocacy centers for education, training, medical advice, and quality assurance activities. Child advocacy centers are intended to provide comprehensive services for child victims and their families by coordinating services from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, child protective services, victim advocacy agencies, and health care providers.
Grants awarded under the program typically fund multi-disciplinary teams of law enforcement, nurses, and victim advocates to record victim interviews and collect evidence in child sexual assault and child abuse cases. These grants do not provide funding for direct services; rather, state funds support the professional development, service improvement, medical consultation, and evaluation in 14 Child Advocacy Centers across Wisconsin.