Register Now for Internet Safety Training

Register now for “Internet Safety and Kids with Disabilities: What parents and providers need to know.” Led by Chicago Police Detective Charles Hollendoner and Susan Kahan, MA, LPC of the UIC Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic, this training equips caregivers… Read More

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THANK YOU to our friends at KPMG for their donation of hundreds of books to the children we serve! The books were donated through KPMG’s Family for Literacy program in honor of Amy Rule, our 2016 Luminary, and… Read More

Child Life Practicum

Calling all child life/development students: the deadline to apply for our spring semester child life practicum is Saturday, October 1! Apply today to join our extraordinary team and help our clients and their siblings relax, play and build trust before and after their appointments at the center. Get all the details here.

ChicagoCAC Child Life

Calling all child life/development students: the deadline to apply for our spring semester child life practicum is Saturday, October 1! Apply today to join our extraordinary team and help our clients and their siblings relax, play and build… Read More

Chicago Park District special recreation training

Today we trained 300 Chicago Park District special recreation staff on keeping children safe. Preventing child sexual abuse starts with caring adults taking responsibility for protecting children and youth. Know what to communicate to your child, behaviors to watch out for and steps to take with our free resources!

ChicagoCAC Keeping My Family Safe Preview

Today we trained 300 Chicago Park District special recreation staff on keeping children safe. Preventing child sexual abuse starts with caring adults taking responsibility for protecting children and youth. Know what to communicate to your child, behaviors to… Read More

Canine Companionship Room

Now that we have a spacious staff lunchroom, one of our former break rooms has become our dedicated Canine Therapy Corps space. Each week, volunteers spend time with our clients, their siblings, and even our staff to help reduce anxiety, build confidence and just relax! Thanks to all of our superstar dog and people volunteers, and to our intern Olivia for putting together a bulletin board to help us read dogs’ body language!

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Now that we have a spacious staff lunchroom, one of our former break rooms has become our dedicated Canine Therapy Corps space. Each week, volunteers spend time with our clients, their siblings, and even our staff to help… Read More

The Sounds of our Family Hope Center

From outside the door to our Family Hope Center, you can hear giggles and squeals from kids of all ages waiting for their or their siblings’ appointments. Each week, our therapists help clients learn how to express their feelings, how to better communicate with their family, and what healing looks like for them. Meanwhile, our child life team leads games and activities that help caregivers and kids pass the time in productive, healthy ways. Learn more about the Family Hope Center.

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From outside the door to our Family Hope Center, you can hear giggles and squeals from kids of all ages waiting for their or their siblings’ appointments. Each week, our therapists help clients learn how to express their… Read More

Creating a Community Action Plan to Prevent Abuse

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the center for “Creating a Community Action Plan to Prevent Abuse,” developed and led by the National Criminal Justice Training Center. Over two days, participants learned about the spectrum of abuse prevention, completed a Child Sexual Abuse Action Plan and pledged to do their part to keep kids safe. View photos on our Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the center for “Creating a Community Action Plan to Prevent Abuse,” developed and led by the National Criminal Justice Training Center. Over two days, participants learned about the spectrum of… Read More

Advocacy action: Help improve DCFS investigations involving children with disabilities

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Representative Patricia Bellock (R-Westmont) introduced House Bill 5643 (HB5643) to improve DCFS investigations involving children with disabilities. Rep. Bullock consulted with ChicagoCAC and our Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities (CASACD) to ensure the bill moves Illinois in the right direction to provide best practice services for children with disabilities who have been abused or neglected.

HB5643 amends the Illinois Children and Family Services Act and would create the Enhanced Services for Children with Disabilities Task Force to examine and review the Department of Children & Family Services’ protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse or neglect.

Please contact your state representative and senator now to help improve child protective investigations for some of our most vulnerable children. Please hurry – the deadline for public comment is Friday, April 15! 

Take action

First, find your state senator’s and representative’s contact information here. Then click the button below to send them our template email. Be sure to add in their names in the “dear” field, and fill in your mailing address at the bottom.

Having trouble? Copy and paste this message into the body of an email:

Dear [LEGISLATOR],

I’m writing to ask you to support House Bill 5643, the DCFS Enhanced Services Task Force bill. As your constituent, I am passionate about ensuring that all children – and especially children with disabilities – receive the best care in the aftermath of abuse or neglect.

HB5643 would amend the Children and Family Services Act to create the Enhanced Services for Children with Disabilities Task Force, which will example and review the Department of Children & Family Services’ protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse and neglect.

I urge you to work with Rep. Patricia Bellock and your colleagues to move HB5643 forward for a hearing, so that children with disabilities who are involved in a child abuse investigation have access to the protection, services and care they need.

It is the duty and responsibility of the State of Illinois to provide all necessary services to protect abused children, and we have an added responsibility to ensure that children with disabilities – who are three to five times more likely to be abused – receive the care that meets their needs.

Thank you for your swift action to protect children in Illinois.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME] [YOUR ADDRES] [YOUR CITY, STATE & ZIP]

Or call your legislators using this script:

I’m [YOUR NAME], a constituent of [LEGISLATOR]. I am calling to ask [LEGISLATOR] to support House Bill 5643, which would create a task force to examine and review the DCFS protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse or neglect. As a constituent, I am passionate about providing the best services and care for children who have been abused, and we have an added responsibility to ensure that children with disabilities have services that meet their needs. I urge [LEGISLATOR] to work with [his/her] colleagues in the General Assembly to pass this important legislation. Thank you.

Thank you for making a difference for children and families! Help us spread the word by sharing this page with your networks! 

Questions? Contact Trevor Peterson: (312) 492-3728 or TPeterson@ChicagoCAC.org

A bill to improve the state’s response to abuse of children with disabilities was recently introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives. Please take a moment now to contact your legislators and ensure children with disabilities get the services they need – we make it easy!

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault Conference

Thank you to New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault for inviting us to speak at their 2016 conference! ChicagoCAC Director of Strategic Initiatives Meg O’Rourke and our partner Susan Kahan from the UIC Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic presented on their work with our Coalition Against Sexual Assault of Children with Disabilities (CASACD). Learn more about preventing abuse of children with disabilities.

Thank you to New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault for inviting us to speak at their 2016 conference! ChicagoCAC Director of Strategic Initiatives Meg O’Rourke and our partner Susan Kahan from the UIC Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic… Read More

We exist 2016

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In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center will be hosting our fourth annual installment of “We exist,” a public awareness display that features children’s, caregivers’ and professionals’ stories of preventing, recognizing, responding to and reporting child sexual abuse. Learn more.