Results from the Virginia Multidisciplinary Team Knowledge and Functioning Survey: The importance of differentiating by groups affiliated with a child advocacy center
Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) are a child-centered, multidisciplinary response to child abuse. Two important components of a CAC model include the multidisciplinary team (MDT) and case review. The purpose of this study was to assess MDT members' perceptions of the MDT and case review and to test whether there were differences by profession, status, or CAC designation. MDT members (N=217) affiliated with a CAC in Virginia completed an online survey containing 35 items. CAC staff was more likely to identify problems associated with case review than other professional groups. Investigators perceived case review meetings as lasting too long, whereas service providers did not. Supervisors and frontline workers disagreed on the core function of a CAC, as did CAC staff and investigators/service providers. Accredited and associate CACs identified problems associated with case review, while developing CACs identified staffing issues as problematic. Research identifying the elements of “effective” MDTs and case review is needed to provide guidance to CAC directors who are most frequently in the role of managing, nurturing, and arranging training for the MDT and coordinating case review meetings. In addition, greater training for MDT members in the importance of case review and collective team identification is warranted.
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- Jent, Jason F. & Merrick, Melissa T. & Dandes, Susan K. & Lambert, Walter F. & Haney, Mike L. & Cano, Nicole M., 2009. "Multidisciplinary assessment of child maltreatment: A multi-site pilot descriptive analysis of the Florida Child Protection Team model," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 896-902, August.
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