The mission of the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is to “reduce the trauma of child abuse and facilitate the healing process”. We started providing services in 2008 with one full time executive director and a contractual forensic interviewer. Today we have a fulltime executive director, forensic interviewer, and family advocate, plus several volunteers. The CAC is a 501(c)(3).
The 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is a child-friendly facility, working with children who have been severely physically and sexually abused. The young victims of abuse are interviewed by a trained forensic interviewer in a manner that is considerate of the trauma they have experienced. The goal for the children is to only have one interview so the healing can start and assure that the children & non-offending families receive the appropriate mental health services.
The Child Advocacy Center serves all children in Wilson, Trousdale, Macon, Smith & Jackson Counties from ages 3-17, affording them a safe place to tell their story one time and start the healing process through counseling or other mental health services. The CAC is the only organization in 15th Judicial District that provides this type of service for children as we work in conjunction with the local Police Departments and Sheriff's Departments in each of the counties we serve, the District Attorney's office, Juvenile court, Department of Children's Services, medical doctors and mental health providers. In the neutral setting of the CAC, team members can collaborate on strategies that will aid investigators and prosecutors without causing further harm to the victim. This innovative, multidisciplinary approach significantly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome in court and long-term healing for the child.
As our goal to protect children from abuse, the CAC provides community education through Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children free of charge. The program teaches how to prevent, recognize and react responsibility to child sexual abuse and is designed for teachers, volunteers, organizations who serve youth and all individuals concerned about the safety of children. For every adult trained in Stewards of Children, ten (10) children are better protected. Since providing the Stewards of Children training in the 15th Judicial District at least 10,000 children are being better protected.