Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center
The Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center is dedicated to serving the best interests of children who have been sexually or physically abused. We, at the Center, are their Voice.
Who We Are
At the Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center, we work with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), law enforcement, state’s attorney’s offices, social workers, advocates, medical and mental health professionals and others to provide high-quality, specialized services for abused children and their families. Helping abused children and their families requires an approach that addresses the physical, emotional, and legal dimensions of abuse. And, it requires a coordinated response from expert professionals to reduce stress throughout the investigation and intervention process. We work in partnership with all the necessary agencies to coordinate a plan of action. From the time a child makes an outcry of abuse until the end of a criminal trial can take months or even years. The Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center (CAC) program provides support and information to non-offending families involved with the multi-disciplinary team. This program was developed to provide a continuum of care for clients from the first day they come to the CAC until the child and family feel resolution. Providing a consistent person that clients can rely on to resolve concerns, provide information and refer them to services eases the confusion and stress our clients endure throughout the investigative and judicial process.
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To understand what a CAC is...
you must understand what children face without one.
Without a CAC, a child may end up having to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again to doctors, law enforcement, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they might be in trouble, or may be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning teacher or other adult that could hurt the case against the abuser. CACs are so important as they provide a safe, child-focused environment where the child tells their story once to a trained interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not re-traumatize the child. Then, a team that includes medical professionals, law enforcement, mental health, prosecution, child protective services, victim advocacy, and other professionals make decisions together about how to help the child based on the interview.
This past year, CACs in Illinois served 14,813 kids.
Today, there will be 222 reports of abuse in Illinois.
1 in 10
1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. This would equal 293,319 children in Illinois.
Who We Serve
We provide services to child victims (under the age of 18) of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, and child witnesses to homicides, and other violent crimes. Services may also be provided for children at risk and non-offending family members.
What We Do
We provide forensic interviews, advocacy, medical evaluation referral, and therapeutic intervention for child abuse victims referred to our agency. Services provided are available to the child for as long as needed and free of charge.
What We Believe
All children should be free of abuse and neglect.
All children should have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential in a loving and safe environment.
It is in the best interest of abused children to have collaboration among agencies working on their behalf.
It is important to educate the public on the issues of child abuse and neglect.
“Sometimes real superheroes live in the hearts of small children who are fighting big battles.“