Since 1981, Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, Inc. (CAC) has advocated for a healthy, safe community for children through a multidisciplinary team approach to child abuse and neglect. Our mission is to improve the lives of children and their families through a coordinated response to child abuse and neglect.
Initially operating as the Child Protection Team, the Agency's sole purpose was to determine whether or not abuse had occurred. Over the years, we expanded our services in response to the needs of the community. Today, as the Children's Advocacy Center, we continue to offer abuse determination services, as well as therapeutic counseling, parenting education, prevention and offender programs in Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Charlotte Counties. We are the only children's advocacy center in the four-county area accredited by the National Children's Alliance, and one of the largest children's advocacy centers in the State of Florida.
CAC offers services in four areas. Child Protection Team provides comprehensive assessments to children who have been abused or neglected, or are suspected of being abused or neglected. Services include medical exams, forensic interviews, crisis intervention, psychosocial assessments and case coordination. These services are available 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
Family Alliance provides therapeutic counseling services to children who: have been abused or neglected, are suspected of being abused or neglected, have witnessed or experienced family violence, or have witnessed a homicide or other violent crime; their non-offending parents; and adult survivors of abuse. Treatment options include individual, group, and family therapy. Psychiatric evaluations and medication management are also provided when appropriate.
Prevention Services offers parent education classes to court-ordered parents, high-risk families, and the general public, and operates an after-school and summer program in Pine Manor. In addition, Prevention Services oversees the East United Way House, a multi-agency outreach center on Palm Beach Boulevard.
Offender Services treats adult and juvenile sex offenders, spouses of adult offenders, and parents of juvenile offenders. In addition, Offender Services manages the TRUE Girls program (Trauma Resolution through Understanding and Education) which teaches coping skills to adolescent, at-risk girls who have experienced trauma. Treatment options include individual, group, and family therapy, in addition to aftercare treatment and community education.
Services are available in English and Spanish and, with the exception of services for adult and juvenile sex offenders, are provided free of charge.