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Multi-disciplinary Team

History and Rationale

The Multidisciplinary Team concept was a core aspect of the original Child Advocacy Center model developed by Bud Cramer during the early 1980's. Previously, the United States' response to child sexual abuse was poorly coordinated between the various entities with a responsibility for conducting the initial investigation and response to child sexual abuse. With a committed group of community volunteers, Mr. Cramer refined and implemented the first Child Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL in 1985. This innovative model recognized that in order for the United States to effectively respond to this issue that a unique public-private partnership was essential, and that the various agencies and departments responsible for the protection of children must be united in a collaborative effort to respond with the recognition that no one agency by itself could assure the protection of children. Only by working as a multidisciplinary team could we effectively respond to child abuse.

This bold effort to reformulate the nation's response to child abuse was met with a mixture of skepticism and excitement. The various institutions of law enforcement, child protective services, mental health, medical health, and victim advocacy were unaccustomed to working in a collaborative fashion, but they quickly realized the value and impact of this multidisciplinary model. Currently, this approach has been widely adopted as a best practice in responding to child sexual abuse in the United States. Throughout the United States, there are now more than 900 Children's Advocacy Centers which served more than 270,000 children during 2009, and this model has now been implemented in more than 12 countries throughout the world.

Butterfly Bridge, Children's Advocacy Center
Children's of Alabama C.H.I.P.S. Center

Chilton County:
Chilton County Sheriff's Office
Chilton County Department of Human Resources
District Attorney’s Office – 19th Judicial Circuit of Alabama
Chilton/Shelby Mental Health
Clanton Police Department
Jemison Police Department
Maplesville Police Department
Thorsby Police Department

Autauga County:
Autauga County Department of Human Resources
Prattville Police Department
Autauga County Sheriff's Office

Elmore County:
Wetumpka Police Department
Millbrook Police Department
Tallassee Police Department
Coosada Police Department
Eclectic Police Department
Elmore County Sheriff's Office
Elmore County Department of Human Resources
Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority