chapter  8
7 Pages

Comment on Cross, Fine, Jones, and Walsh (2012): Do Mental Health Professionals Who Serve on/with Child Advocacy Centers Experience Role Conflict?

WithColleen Friend

Child advocacy centers (CACs) provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary investigation and intervention for allegations of child sexual abuse (CSA) or other serious child abuse. Cross, Fine, Jones, and Walsh (2012) point out that coordinating the functions of criminal justice, mental health, child

welfare, medical, victim advocacy, and other professionals is perhaps the most important function CACs serve. Cross and colleagues’ article serves two functions: first, it argues that two recent publications’ concerns that CACs create role conflict for mental health professionals overestimate the risk for this occurrence, and, second, it takes the position that a fundamental misunderstanding of CAC practices is a core issue here and explains how CACs actually work. Cross and colleagues’ article is important because, once raised, these concerns should be addressed; otherwise, the credibility of CACs could suffer. How well the article addresses this is the subject of this commentary.