What is a Children’s Advocacy Center?
A Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is a child-focused, facility-based program in which representatives from various community services providers (Law Enforcement, Child Protection, Prosecution, Mental Health, Medical and Victim Advocacy) work together to provide services to abused children and their family. These services include conducting child interviews and making joint decisions about the investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases. A core belief in children’s advocacy centers is that the combined wisdom and knowledge of professionals from different disciplines will result in a more complete understanding of case issues and the most effective, child- and family-focused system response. The CAC model is considered the best practice model for the investigative and treatment services of abused and neglected children.
Can I report child abuse to the Child Advocacy Center of Guernsey County?
No. Reports of child abuse cannot be made directly to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Guernsey County. All reports of abuse or neglect need to be made to the public children services agency or law enforcement. However, we do encourage you to call the Children’s Advocacy Center of Guernsey County if you would like to consult or receive guidance on a particular situation.
Who do I call if I suspect that a child is being abused?
In non-emergency situations, call your local public children services agency to make a report about the abuse. Guernsey County Children Services can be contacted at (740) 439-5555. They provide 24/7 services for anyone making a report of child abuse/neglect. Please call 911 for all emergency situations.
Is child abuse that big of a problem?
Nearly half of all U.S. children-some 34 million-have experienced at least one type of childhood trauma, while 16 million have experienced two or more types of trauma. Over 1,000,000 children are abused each year in the United States. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Homicide is the leading cause of injury related deaths in children younger than 4 years of age. Abuse carries a heavy cost. Each year, total lifetime costs of new cases of child abuse reach approximately $124 billion. The lifetime cost for each victim is $210,012 (NCA stats 2018).
Do children reside at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Guernsey County?
No. Children come to the center to receive services and leave with their caregiver. We do not provide any inpatient, foster or respite care for children.
Does the Children’s Advocacy Center of Guernsey County charge a fee?
No. All Children’s Advocacy Center services are provided to children and families of Guernsey and surrounding counties (that do not have a CAC) at no cost. The CAC is a 501c3, non-profit, and donations are always greatly appreciated and remain local helping local children and their families.