Our purpose is to alleviate the trauma children experience once a disclosure of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse occurs by creating a community of collaborating advocates.
Our vision is a community where children live in a safe and nurturing environment free from sexual and physical abuse.
Joining hands with community partners, we provide a safe and child friendly Center that supports the prevention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse.
Joining hands with 19 community agencies, the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) provides a safe and child-friendly place to interview, investigate and provide support for abused children. The CAC also provides prevention education for parents, professionals and agencies in our community. We look to a future where all children live in a safe and nurturing environment free from abuse. During FY 2011, our center served 595 children and their families and, by our coordinating efforts, saved the community more than $500,000.
Child Advocacy Center (CAC) Highlights
- Based on national best practice and research, the CAC was founded in 1993 by a group of concerned local professionals seeking to coordinate services provided to child abuse victims and their families.
- The primary goal of the CAC is to alleviate the trauma children experience once a disclosure of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse occurs.
- The CAC provides a safe and child-friendly environment where professionals from 19 community agencies come together to interview, investigate and provide support for abused children and their families.
- The CAC reduces the number of interviews for child victims of abuse by providing specially trained professionals to conduct forensic interviews in a centralized location.
- The CAC secures local, specialized medical evaluations for child abuse victims by highly-trained medical personnel. Prior to the establishment of the CAC, victims had to travel to UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke for these specialized medical evaluations.
- The CAC coordinates Multidisciplinary Team case reviews where professionals from multiple agencies come together to plan the best course of legal and supportive action for the child abuse victim. These agencies include law enforcement, medical care, mental health, military family services, social work, child protective services, the District Attorney’s office, victim advocates, education and Guardian ad Litem.
- National research has determined that this type of coordinated approach can help alleviate trauma for children, increase the prosecution rate of perpetrators, and be fiscally beneficial to the community. It is estimated that the CAC approach saves the community approximately $500,000 per year.
- In fiscal year 2010-2011, the CAC served 595 children and their families.
- In addition, the CAC provides continuing education to professionals who serve child abuse victims.
- The CAC also provides education to the public including:
Darkness-to-Light Training to educate parents, grandparents and everyone who works with children on how to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to child sexual abuse
Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse Training for professionals and organizations on how to recognize the signs of child abuse and how to report suspicions of child abuse.
- The CAC is a 501 (c)(3) organization and is funded through the generosity of corporate, state, organization and foundation grants; corporate and individual donations; in-kind contributions; and event sponsorships. There is no charge for most of the services that the CAC provides. In our most recent audit, 85 cents out of every dollar was spent on direct services to children.
- The Child Advocacy Center, Inc. (CAC) was founded in 1993 when concerned citizens in Cumberland County (CC) who worked with the victims of child abuse knew that those children were not being treated in the best manner available. They determined the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) approach to be the most effective. The CAC became an Accredited Member of the National Children’s Alliance (governing board of child advocacy centers) in 2003 and was reaccredited in 2009.