Throughout the state of Arizona, Children’s Advocacy Centers operate 24/7/365 to meet the needs of children when a report is made to the Department of Child Safety or local Law Enforcement.

To understand what a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is, you must understand what children face without one. Without a CAC, the child may end up having to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again, to doctors, cops, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they might be in trouble, or may be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning teacher or other adult that could hurt the case against the abuser.

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 retraumatize 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.


In a 6-Month Period:

  • Child Abuse Hotline received 24,093 calls that met the statutory criteria for a DCS report.

  • Number of children in out-of-home care decreased from 15,840 to 14,929.

  • Majority of children in out-of-home care are from ages 1 to 5 years (31.5%)

  • Children with an adoption case plan spend on average 25.95 months in out-of-home care.

  • 33.1% children in foster care have been in out-of-home care for 13 to 24 months.

  • Average number of placements was 2.25; range for the number of placements was 1 to 61. 

(Arizona Department of Child Safety, "Child Welfare Reporting Requirements Semi-Annual Report for the Period of Oct. 1, 2017 through Mar. 31, 2018"; 2016 Kids Count Data Center)



You can #PutOnTheCape today for these children, caregivers, and communities today! Make a donation to Put on the Cape, volunteer at an event, or get in touch with a Children’s Advocacy Center near you! To find your local CAC, visit the National Children’s Alliance website and search by zipcode. You can make a different! Help us to help them!


If you need to make a report of child abuse and/or neglect, please contact the Department of Child Safety at 1-888-767-2445 and your local law enforcement agency or call 911. They will let you know what steps can be taken and pursue the case if applicable.