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Best Practices and Guidelines

Adoption of evidence-based practices, whenever possible, has been encouraged for all organizations that provide services to the public. Unlike medical care, which has a long and robust tradition of research to inform protocols, research related to prevention, investigation and treatment pertaining to child abuse is relatively new and incomplete.

The resources identified in this portion of CALiO are selected as convenient starting point for developing local protocols and practices. They should be reviewed on the basis of the evidence upon which they depend. They should also be considered within the context of their appropriateness for local implementation.

The National Children’s Advocacy Center cannot verify the veracity of evidence upon which the listed resources are based. Listing of documents here should not be interpreted as validation or recommendation. In some cases, the resources identified are included because they are the only guidelines available.

 Legal Guidebook for Children’s Advocacy Centers

CAC Succession Planning

Cultural Competency


Selected resources on best practices for prevention of child abuse and neglect, including school and visitation programs. read more


Guidelines for forensic interviewing of child victims. read more

Medical Assessment

Standard protocols and assessment techniques for health professionals in cases of suspected abuse. read more


Evidence-based approaches to the treatment of abused and traumatized children. read more


Research in Evidence-Based Programming – A look at how scholarly research influences policy and practice

Evaluation – A Resource for Evaluating Child Advocacy Centers

Research to Practice – Video and Slide presentations of current research affecting practice

Understanding Evidence Part 1: Best Available Research Evidence. A Guide to the Continuum of Evidence of Effectiveness. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This document, written by R. W. Puddy and N. Wilkins, explains the purpose and meaning of the Continuum of Evidence of Effectiveness, a tool that was developed to facilitate a common understanding of what the Best Available Research Evidence means in the field of violence prevention. A separate PDF of the Chart “Continuum of Evidence of Effectiveness” found with this document is also available.

100 Best Practices in Child Protection:A series of 100 Best Practices. Vol III. (2013).The Protection Project at The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.

The Illinois Children’s Justice Task Force (2016). The urgent need in Illinois for unit-based multidisciplinary teams to investigate child abuse.

What happened?  Robin’s Story: Then and Now

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Child Abuse Library Online (CALiO) is supported by a grant awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.