The South Carolina Network of Children's Advocacy Centers (SCNCAC) has been awarded a $123,500.00 two year grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for support of a Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) Statewide Database and Statewide CAC Community Needs Assessment and Development Plan.
During late 2017, SCNCAC began work on a gap analysis which clearly identified 13 counties in SC that have rural and economically disadvantaged areas with limited access to evidence based CAC services. This initial work showed areas of South Carolina where child victims of abuse do not have the same access to services that children in urban areas may have. This grant project will allow SCNCAC to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and gap analysis to develop a CAC growth and development plan that will ensure all children in SC have reasonable access to services for child victims of abuse.
CACs in South Carolina are required by accreditation standards to provide a database for tracking medical, mental health, forensic interview, prevention and other services provided by the CAC to child victims and non-offending family members and caregivers. These databases must provide essential demographic information, case information, and investigation/intervention outcomes. Currently all 17 CACs in SC use independent databases of different formats and functions which inhibits coordinated services. This grant project will allow SCNCAC to develop a statewide CAC database to coordinate services, prevent duplication of services and prevent child abuse cases from falling through the cracks which can occur with disconnected tracking systems.
This project will provide for better coordination of services to child victims of abuse and their non-offending family members or caregivers. It will allow multidisciplinary team Members of the CACs to accurately inform children and families of the status and disposition of their cases based on the most current information from all investigative and treatment professionals involved. It will provide for coordinated services on a statewide level and provide the data and outcomes needed to expand the availability of services to economically depressed and rural areas of SC. It will help provide enhanced coordination between Multidisciplinary Team members involved in all aspects of child abuse cases to ensure all children in need of CAC services are referred for evaluation.
One of the long range goals of this grant project is to ensure that all children and non-offending caregivers have reasonable and equal access to the multidisciplinary team investigative approach and the evidenced based services provided by Children's Advocacy Centers regardless of where they live in South Carolina. The child centered evidence based medical, mental health, victim advocacy, and coordination services that CACs provide are vital to the health and healing of children when they have or are suffering from child sexual and/or physical abuse. This project will help to remove existing barriers to accessing services that families currently encounter in many rural and economically disadvantaged areas of South Carolina.
SCNCAC and our member Children's Advocacy Centers are grateful to the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for partnering with us on this project.
BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina Foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.