We want to end the abuse suffered by every child victim who walks through our door.
We place the needs of the child first in an investigation for abuse.
As an agency, as employees, as volunteers and as directors of the Child Advocacy Center’s board, we:
- value integrity, honesty, compassion, respect and continual self-improvement;
- are committed to abused and neglected children and recognize the significant responsibilities we undertake on their behalf;
- consider each child unique and valuable with different needs;
- employ ethical, resourceful, creative and evidence-based means to meet the needs of each child;
- believe that educating others about child abuse is an integral part of our challenge.
Staying true to our mission, every decision we consider will be tested by two questions:
- “Is this decision good for kids?”
- “Are we making this decision for the right reasons?”
Prior to 1995, the pain of child abuse didn’t end after the physical act. A verbal battery would follow as young victims had to endure numerous interviews with social, legal and law enforcement agencies. A child would be repeatedly asked to share the painful details of the abuse in an effort to learn exactly what happened. While well intentioned, the exhausting process guaranteed further emotional trauma to the young victim.
In 1995, a small group of concerned professionals and community leaders met to consider a better, more sensitive way to respond to children who had been abused. These individuals pictured a place where hurting children would feel safe talking about difficult, frightening experiences. Out of this concern, the Child Advocacy Center was established.
The CAC now has two locations. Our original center is located in an inviting, older home on historic Walnut Street in Springfield, Missouri. In 2011 we added a satellite center on Garfield Avenue in West Plains, Missouri. The satellite center allows us to better serve children and families in south central Missouri. Collectively, both locations cover our 16-county service area and provide the same, coordinated approach to an investigation for abuse.
At the CAC, our staff with law enforcement, Children’s Division and other investigators form a team that collectively works the investigation, treatment and prosecution of each child abuse case.