CAC Staffing

Task Sharing

Task sharing is the delegation of select tasks, that are often delivered by a licensed mental health provider, to a non-licensed colleague with relevant training, to expand the reach and depth of the services delivered by the licensed clinician. At present, many therapists who serve CAC clients in rural areas, especially those providing TMH services under a linkage agreement, work alone and not as part of a collaborative mental health team with the victim advocate.

The victim advocate position in a CAC is ready-made for a mental health task sharing role. In fact, many tasks victim advocates typically perform, such as providing psychoeducation about the effects of trauma on children, and addressing myths, cultural stigma, and other barriers to engaging in therapy, could easily be considered task sharing. Too often, however, victim advocacy in a CAC is not delivered in close collaboration with the mental health therapist. When considering supporting remote therapists providing TMH service, it is important to have a plan for how advocates and remote therapists can communicate and work together to support the clients they both serve. It is critical that advocates and other staff understand the benefits of TMH so they can explain them to clients. If the center staff are not on board in selling TMH, clients will not be referred.

WRCAC Telemental Health Issue Brief on Task Sharing

For more information on task sharing at CACs, view the December 2021 WRCAC Issue Brief, Task Sharing in a Children’s Advocacy Center: The Role of Victim Advocates in Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children & Families.  This issue brief examines task sharing in the CAC context and promotes the active collaboration between the CAC victim advocate and the child’s therapist as a task sharing team, especially in rural areas where the therapist may provide services remotely through telemental health.

Training to Integrate a Victim Advocate into the CAC Mental Health Team

NCA partnered with the University of Oklahoma to develop “Enhance Early Engagement (E3): Engaging Families in Mental Health Treatment to Support Healing and Thriving”, a training program designed to teach victim advocates the key roles of task sharing as part of a CAC mental health team. According to the National Children’s Alliance, the E3 training was developed because “not all families served by CACs receive these critical [mental health] services. Through feedback from caregivers collected under NCA’s national Outcome Measurement System (OMS), we know some families report never receiving information about mental health services for themselves or their children. Thankfully, that number is falling, but even more concerning is that many of the families who do report receiving information about treatment options for children and caregivers still fail to follow up on referrals to these essential services after visiting a CAC.” The E3 training guides victim advocates through the following:

  • What family engagement is and why it is important
  • The expanded role of the victim advocate to include family engagement in mental health treatment;
  • The importance of building collaborative relationships with mental health providers; and
  • How to collaborate with a mental health provider to monitor and track services and gather metrics to inform treatment progress.

Click here for more information about the E3 training.

Page Last Updated: June 2024

Take a Deeper Dive

For more information, check out the WRCAC Telemental Health Issue Brief on Task Sharing in a Children’s Advocacy Center: The Role of Victim Advocates in Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children & Families

Request Technical Assistance

Interested in further guidance or additional resources on this topic? Submit a request for TA and a member of our team will get in touch to provide customized support.

Share your feedback

Do you have a resource on this topic that you’d like us to include on our resource center? Do you have any other feedback that you’d like to share? Let us know by submitting a feedback form!