Research to Practice: Considerations for the MDT and CAC Approach to Recantation
By Jerri Sites
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.
Jerri Sites
Jerri is an SRCAC Outreach Coordinator who has conducted over 2,100 forensic interviews during her 20-year career in the CAC movement.
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Spotlight is a newsletter prepared by Southern Regional CAC that focuses on current topics, ideas, trainings, and conferences which are designed to further the knowledge and practice of CAC professionals within the region. We hope you find the information helpful! Let us know if you have any feedback or specific topics you’d like to see in future newsletters.
This publication is funded through grant #2016-CI-FX-K002 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components, operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this publication (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
Southern Regional CAC | #justtryingtohelpsomekids | Vol. 1 No. 2: April 2018