The WRCAC Roundup is a monthly communication featuring the latest news from the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (WRCAC). Each issue of the WRCAC Roundup is structured around one key topic or aspect of our work that is central to building strong multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) and children’s advocacy centers (CACs). Throughout each issue, we highlight what we are learning and doing as it relates to child abuse intervention, professional development, and justice and healing for kids, and share relevant research, resources, and events from our team and our partners across the country.
All WRCAC Roundup issues will be archived on this page for easy viewing.
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Disclaimer: The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.
Previous issues are listed below, beginning with the most recent release. Click “Read More” underneath each title to access the full article.
Issue 19: Understanding Tribal Sovereignty to Improve CAC Services
According to 2020 United States (US) Census data, over 80% of the population identifying as American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) resides in the western region of the United States. Many tribal reservations in the west are geographically isolated and have limited access to important services. To increase access to children’s advocacy center (CAC) services that are culturally responsive, CACs must first ensure they understand a key concept specific to AI/AN communities: tribal sovereignty. Read More >>
Issue 18: Understanding Purpose: A Key to Multidisciplinary Team Development and Leadership
The Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center has been committed to helping strengthen multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) and children’s advocacy centers (CACs) throughout the thirteen states in our region. Through our work with individual CACs as well as state chapters, we have provided technical assistance, customized trainings and resources to help teams more effectively respond to child abuse in their communities. One of the keys to strengthening MDTs is to understand how important the concept of “purpose” is to both individuals and teams as a whole. Read More >>
Issue 17: Addressing Mental Health Workforce Challenges Within Children's Advocacy Centers
Children’s advocacy centers (CACs) work hard to provide pathways to healing for children and families. However, providing mental health services onsite or through linkage agreements has become increasingly difficult as referrals outpace availability of therapists. Identifying local trauma-trained professionals, even in large urban areas with a rich pool of licensed therapists, can prove difficult. The challenge is more daunting in rural and frontier communities where far fewer licensed mental health professionals live1. To the extent that qualified trauma-focused treatment providers exist in rural areas, they are often found in limited numbers, and families may experience long waits before therapy can be initiated. This shortage often means relying on generalist mental health professionals who do not specialize in evidence-based trauma treatment. Read More >>
Issue 16: Managing Change and Transition on the Multidisciplinary Team
Before jumping into this article, take a moment to think of the first word or feeling that arises when you read the word change. What is your initial response? Does it feel expansive or restrictive? Perhaps somewhere in between? We started with this exact question at the MDT Facilitator Peer Forum in June, a virtual space for multidisciplinary team (MDT) facilitators hosted by the four regional children’s advocacy centers (RCACs). The responses were wide-ranging: fear, opportunity, exhaustion, innovation, and resistance are just a sampling of what we heard during the forum. Read More >>
Issue 15: Building a Statewide Telemental Health Network to Support Children Living in Rural Montana
Issue 14: Executive Coaching to Support Effective State Chapter Leaders
Issue 13: Learning by Doing: The Value of Peer Networks
Issue 12: Addressing the Health and Well-Being of Children's Advocacy Center Staff and Partners
Issue 11: Task Sharing in a Children's Advocacy Center: Expanding the Reach of Mental Health Services
Issue 10: The Role of the MDT Facilitator in the Children's Advocacy Center Model
Issue 9: Improving Trauma-Informed Care and Practice in Children's Advocacy Centers
Issue 8: Collaborating to Improve Culturally Appropriate Services for American Indian and Alaskan Native Children
Issue 7: Strategies to Support the Growth and Development of State Chapters
Issue 6: Technology Lessons Emerging from the WRCAC Statewide Telemental Health Pilot Project
Issue 5: The Role of the Victim Advocate in the Multidisciplinary Response to Child Abuse
Issue 4: Hosting Virtual Meetings and Services
The movement of in-person activities to a virtual environment is one of many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the daily activities of children’s advocacy centers (CACs). From hosting online meetings to offering telehealth services, video conferencing platforms allow us to convene easily with staff, multi-disciplinary team (MDT) colleagues, and clients across distances and from our homes and private offices. However, it can be challenging to translate in-person activities to a virtual environment and keep participants engaged. As a fully remote team, WRCAC has compiled lessons over the past year on hosting effective and engaging virtual meetings and trainings that we share here to assist you in successfully navigating and leveraging virtual space to best serve your CAC. Read More >>
Issue 3: Building Resiliency in Multidisciplinary Teams
There is no question that the work of responding to child abuse has a considerable impact on both professional and personal lives. Providers who work with children and families who have experienced trauma are increasingly recognizing the need to develop their own resiliency. Organizations are also leaning into their responsibility to establish practices and policies that support the resiliency of their employees. The National Children’s Alliance Standards for Accredited Children’s Advocacy Centers includes a requirement that Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) provide access to training and information on vicarious trauma and resiliency for multi-disciplinary team (MDT) members. While most child abuse professionals agree secondary traumatic stress is a critical issue impacting our workforce, many continue to note a need for more resources to combat its effect. Read More >>
Issue 2: Mental Health Services for Rural Communities
The Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (WRCAC) supports children’s advocacy centers (CACs), multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) and state chapters that serve a decidedly rural and frontier population. The thirteen states that make up the western region represent nearly half of U.S. land, but less than one-quarter of U.S. residents. The result is a population density that is half the national average – 42.4 persons per square mile in the west versus 89.5 nationally. While the western region features urban centers such as Los Angeles, Honolulu and Seattle with population densities of over 5,000 residents per square mile, most of the states in the west fall well below the national average and comprise vast, sparsely populated areas. Read More >>
Issue 1: Welcome to the WRCAC Roundup
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the WRCAC Roundup! The WRCAC Roundup is a new monthly communication featuring the latest news from the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (WRCAC). Throughout each issue, we will highlight what we are learning and doing as it relates to child abuse intervention, professional development, and justice and healing for kids, and share relevant research, resources, and links to events from our team and our partners across the country. Each month, the WRCAC Roundup will be structured around one key topic or aspect of our work that is central to building strong multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) and children’s advocacy centers (CACs). This month’s WRCAC Roundup is an introduction to who we are and how we operate within the broader CAC movement. Read More >>