In 1985, the first children’s advocacy center was created in Huntsville, Alabama. Its aim was to lessen the trauma children often endured when sharing their experiences of sexual abuse and other serious trauma with law enforcement and other agencies.
Our model makes a difference
Prior to CACs, children were often forced to tell their stories multiple times to investigators and professionals who, while sympathetic, were not always trained in trauma-informed practices or interview techniques specific to children. The advent of CACs was a life-changing innovation that brought hope and healing into the lives of many childhood sexual abuse survivors, streamlined the investigative process, and in many cases, helped ensure that justice had an opportunity to be served.
Today, there are over 900 CACs across the country. Many have co-located investigative partners and some, like ChicagoCAC, provide other healing and support services onsite or through community partnerships. The National Children’s Alliance – the membership organization and accrediting body for CACs – is an excellent resource for understanding more about CACs and their vital work they perform for survivors and their families.
How ChicagoCAC Can Help
Open since 2001, ChicagoCAC is one of the largest and most influential CACs in the country. At ChicagoCAC, we provide children with a safe place to tell their story to experts who will listen to them and help them heal. By providing our services all under one roof:
- Children can tell their story of abuse in their own way to one adult, reducing trauma and helping preserve evidence.
- Families receive the resources and support they need to stabilize their lives and address any other issues at home.
- Families overcome the trauma of abuse and build coping skills and healthy relationships.
- Cost will never get in the way of the support a family needs and deserves. All of ChicagoCAC’s services are free of charge to every client, every time.
How You Can Help Us
There are many ways to get involved with ChicagoCAC and support our work. If you’re ready to join us:
- Learn more about how to prevent, recognize, respond to and report abuse.
- Contact us to see if we can accommodate a tour of ChicagoCAC.
- Make a donation to support our efforts.