Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County opened its doors in 1997 and since then has served more than 10,000 abused children.
The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) model originated with Alabama Congressman Robert E. “Bud” Cramer, Jr. In 1985, while serving as District Attorney, Cramer reached the conclusion that efforts to investigate and prosecute child abuse were often duplicated and inefficient. In a criminal justice system designed around adults, child victims were re-victimized by the system, having to retell their abuse stories to multiple investigators. Criminal cases were weakened by the lack of coordination between agencies.
Congressman Cramer’s vision to create a child friendly environment where children could receive all the help they need to heal from abuse led to the creation of more than 700 Children’s Advocacy Centers across the country, including 71 in Texas.
Today, children served by a Children’s Advocacy Center are immediately surrounded by a team of caring professionals in an environment designed with children in mind. Instead of describing their abuse to multiple adults, they speak with a trained forensic interviewer in a comfortable environment, and the interview is recorded to minimize the number of times they must retell the details of their trauma. Communication across agencies strengthens criminal cases so that perpetrators can be held accountable, keeping our community safe.