Children’s Advocacy Center

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We believe every child who has been abused deserves a safe place to be heard.

The Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) acts as a neutral, third-party hub whose purpose is coordinating services and safe, child-sensitive support to children and their non-offending family members.

Report suspected child abuse or neglect:
1-800-25ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)

Se habla español.
Por favor, llama nosotros: 815-758-8616.

Research shows the CAC's one-time interview with a specially trained forensic interviewer relieves some of the additional trauma the child would experience with several separate interviews.

The CAC also provides:

  • Referrals for medical evaluation
  • Trauma assessments
  • Referrals for counseling and caregiver support through the Center for Counseling
  • In-person support during court proceedings
  • Community prevention and awareness presentations

Are you supporting a victim? Click below to learn about our free caregiver support services.
Caregiver Support Services

Printable Info

2016 Protocol

Watch Our Children's Advocacy Center Testimonial Video

Why do we do what we do?

Research shows that 1 in 10 children have been, are being, or will be the victim of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. This is a staggering statistic, saying that at least 2 children in every Pre-K – 12th grade classroom is sexually abused before they graduate. It is also quite different than the often quoted “1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys” statistic.

What has changed regarding these numbers? The previously quoted statistic came from a study published by the Center for Disease Control about 25 years ago. Darkness to Light published a paper in 2013 outlining a new estimate of child sexual abuse which reported the 1 in 10 statistic.

The CAC coordinates investigations of child abuse (both sexual and physical) allegations as well as trafficking and exploitation. We work closely with our multi-disciplinary partners, including the state’s attorney, DCFS, law enforcement, medical team, trauma team, advocates, and forensic interviewers to ensure every child and non-offending family member gets the safety, treatment, and justice they deserve.

Child Advocacy Centers have been in existence for more than 30 years, and we have learned that the comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach serves to lessen a child’s trauma. Outcomes show that the CAC increases felony prosecution of child sexual abusers, leads to increased referrals for trauma services, and increases non-offending caregivers’ satisfaction with the investigative process.

Caregiver Support Services

The #1 factor in helping to heal a child who is the victim of abuse is a supportive parent. Our free CHANCES (Creating Hope & Awareness: Non-offending Caregiver Emotional Support) Program helps build a child's protective factors by helping parents understand child abuse accommodation syndrome. Non-offending caregivers will receive FREE sessions with a professional counselor to help educate and support them through this time.
We are here to help.
Call the Children's Advocacy Center to set up an appointment at 815-758-8616.

Resources

CAC Advisory Board Meeting Agenda
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For more information, or to request a presentation, please contact
Holly Peifer, Director of Children's Advocacy Center, or call 815-758-8616.
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