The movement for child advocacy centers began in 1985 with “Bud” Cramer who was, at that time, a district attorney in Huntsville, Alabama. Cramer wanted to create a better system for working with abused children. This was the beginning of the Advocacy Center movement that is now a national network.
The Julie Valentine Center is part of The South Carolina Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers (SCNCAC). And from their website…“SCNCAC is a membership organization dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – while keeping the needs of child victims first. The South Carolina Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers provides training, support, technical assistance and leadership at a statewide level to local Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) and communities throughout South Carolina responding to reports of child abuse and neglect.
A children’s advocacy center or ”CAC” is a child-focused, facility-based program in which representatives from many disciplines, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical, and victim advocacy work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases.
The South Carolina Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers strongly believes that the combined professional wisdom and skill of the multidisciplinary team approach results in a more complete understanding of case issues and the most effective child and family focused system response possible.”
I was fortunate to be trained as a forensic interviewer at the National Child Advocacy Center in Huntsville. These CAC’s are the bedrock of prevention and treatment across the state and nation. We have come a long way in prevention and treatment since that father nailed the windows shut.
A call to action: Visit the SC Network of Children’s Advocacy Center’s website and learn more. http://www.cac-sc.org/ If you are outside the SC area, visit the NCAC website at http://www.nationalcac.org/ and find a center in your area.