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Sanford Health Dakota Children's Advocacy Center:

About us

The Sanford Health Dakota Children's Advocacy Center is a program that is committed to improving the response to child abuse. We are a community partnership that utilizes a comprehensive multidisciplinary team approach to investigating child abuse.

Professionals from social services, law enforcement, prosecution, victim advocacy and the medical and mental health communities come together under one roof so that a child only has to tell of his or her abuse one time.

The DCAC is fully funded through grants, donations and third party payers. Supporters include Sanford Health, the State of North Dakota, North Dakota Department of Human Services, Victims of Crime Act, Justice Assistance Grant, Children's Advocacy Centers of North Dakota, Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center and the National Children's Alliance.


  • Child friendly atmosphere
  • Unbiased third party
  • No charge for services
  • Specially-trained forensic interviewer
  • Specialized medical practitioners
  • Video-taped interview
  • Expert court testimony
  • Multidisciplinary team approach
  • Reduces the number of child interviews
  • Effective mental health referrals
  • Shorter caseworker response times
  • Lengthier investigations
  • More investigative contacts
  • More perpetrator departures from the home
  • More perpetrator confessions
  • More frequent victim corroboration
  • More substantiated reports
  • More criminal prosecutions
  • More guilty pleas
  • Digital colposcope

Our history

The Sanford Health Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) started out as a task force to improve and create a coordinated response to child sexual abuse investigations. It opened in the summer of 1997 and became a full member of the National Children’s Alliance in 1998.

Since it’s opening, the DCAC has experienced tremendous growth. We have served all of the counties in North Dakota, including the state’s four Native American reservations, as well as northern South Dakota.


Because families sometimes come from far away, an overnight stay is available at the Ronald McDonald House, 609 N. Seventh St., Bismarck. Families are asked to pay $20 per room per night if they're financially able. Payments can be made weekly or at checkout. Rooms are available on first-come, first-served basis.

Check-in is from 9 a.m.—8 p.m. and check-out is from 9 a.m.—3 p.m. To be eligible, families must:

  • Have a hospital or clinic referral
  • Have a patient who is:
    • 18 or younger
    • 19 to 22 years old if financially eligible
    • An adult having a high-risk pregnancy
  • Live more than 30 miles from Bismarck
  • Have at least one registered guest who is 18 years of age or older

To contact the Ronald McDonald House, call (701) 258-8551.

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