The Child Advocacy Centre methodology of best practice care originated in the USA in the 1980’s in response to criticism of system induced trauma on children who had been harmed.
In 1982, in Huntsville Alabama, an angry grandmother walked into the chambers of District Attorney Bud Cramer and said “my eight year old granddaughter has been sexually abused and you people are making it worse”.
After a lengthy discussion, the grandmother highlighted that, because her granddaughter had to visit so many different professional establishments e.g. hospital, police office, Department for Child Protection, mental health and tell her story to so many different professionals, each time she was being re-traumatised.
District Attorney Bud Cramer called for a re-enactment of this young child’s journey and concluded that the grandmother was correct in her assessment and a better way of providing services for abused children was needed.
The conception of Child Advocacy Centres occurred. Following the birth of this methodology of care, there are now more than 900 Child Advocacy Centres spread across the USA and Europe. Local communities are encouraged to take ownership of the design of Child Advocacy Centres which become the visible service within communities for vulnerable children.