Recantation is fairly common in cases of child sexual abuse. With rates in most recent studies ranging from 23%-27%, MDTs can anticipate 1 in 4 children with confirmed cases of child sexual abuse will recant at some point during the criminal justice process. Results of recantation are rarely positive, often ending in cases being closed, alleged offenders resuming contact with their victims, the possibility of continued victimization of children, and the children's inability to heal.
This paper outlines research from the past decade related to children’s disclosure of abuse, caregiver support, and recantation. The research identifies risk factors for recantation and the need for increased support and education to caregivers. With advancements in the CAC model, improving advocacy and trauma-focused mental health services, and an understanding of this research as it relates to practice, MDTs can implement steps in their response to reduce the risk of recantation, and address the issue as a team when it does occur. Implications for practice and a sample protocol are provided as a guide for MDTs and CACs with an interest in revising their current practice.