Children’s Advocacy Center

The Champion for Children’s Advocacy Center

“It shouldn’t hurt to be a kid,” and because of the Champion for Children Advocacy Center, child victims of abuse have a safe place to tell their story, secure in knowing their abuser can’t reach them. The Advocacy Center provides a child-friendly facility, where victims of abuse can come and feel safe, while all agencies involving themselves in the case are available, on site, to meet the needs of the child.

The purpose of the Champion for Children Advocacy Center is to minimize trauma of child abuse victims and provide prevention support to those families needing assistance when there is likelihood a future abuse report may be generated. The center fulfills our mission by collaboratively coordinating all disciplines in the abuse field and bringing them together at the center to interview, evaluate, and collectively make decisions.

The center’s response reduces trauma to the victim, aids in more immediate follow-ups on child abuse reports, makes offenders more accountable for their actions, reduces costly and repetitious interviews, aids in more complete medical and mental health referrals, and eliminates the duplication of efforts among agencies working in this arena. Children are better protected and their healing is more complete. In addition, because of enhanced accountability, government agencies are quicker to remove themselves from families where intervention is not justified.

The center has been in operation since October 1998 is truly a private/public partnership. It is one of a handful in the state of Florida, and was accredited by the National Children’s Alliance in its first year of operation. The Champion for Children Advocacy Center has served thousands of children cooperatively, devising positive remedies for the damage done to the innocent.

Partner agencies include Department of Children and Families Investigators, State Attorney’s Office, forensic interviewer, medical technician, victim advocate, law enforcement, child psychologist, and Guardian Ad Litem.

The Champion for Children Advocacy Center is an umbrella of safety and comfort where children can find protection and relief from abuse in a number of ways. The Center’s purpose is to provide for the many different needs of the child.

How does the Center provide for a child’s various needs?

Numerous agencies are represented in the single building of the Children Advocacy Center, such as the Department of Children & Families, the United Way, and the Child Protection Team. Thus, specific needs of the child can be met by the most equipped agency or organization designed to meet those needs. In other words, the agencies or organizations that specialize in certain areas relevant to the protection and recovery of a child can they can investigate charges, share information, and agree on proper treatment for child victims of abuse and neglect.

Since its opening in October 1998, the Children’s Advocacy Center has served thousands of children cooperatively, devising positive remedies for the damage done to the innocent.