Celebrating Children's Advocacy Center of the South Plains
Helping children heal
Children's Advocacy Center of the South Plains (CAC) became a Community Partner in 2003 when we partnered with the organization to bring together community resources to speed the healing of child victims of abuse and trauma. CAC collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team in the investigation of specific child abuse cases while also providing case reviews, free therapy, family advocacy, courtroom preparation and accompaniment, and raising community awareness of the problem of child sexual abuse.
In Lubbock County, 3 children are confirmed to be abused or neglected every single day. CAC provides a safe place for survivors to tell their stories to a trained forensic interviewer. These recordings are admissible evidence in a courtroom and prevent survivors from having to tell their stories over and over again, causing further trauma. CAC works with children and families every step of the way through the court process. They also provide counseling and support for both the survivor and his/her family.
In addition to the support they provide to survivors of child abuse, CAC actively works to prevent child abuse. CAC partners with local schools to teach children about safe and unsafe touches and how to report abuse to a trusted adult. They also provide awareness campaigns to involve the community in child abuse prevention.
Child abuse trends in 2020
Throughout the pandemic, CAC never closed its doors. They did, however, have slower months while stay-at-home orders were in effect and children were learning from home. This did not mean that child abuse rates in our area slowed but that common reporters of abuse such as teachers were less aware of what was happening at home.
In 2020, CAC served 893 children (and their non-offending family members) who were sexually abused, severely physically abused, or who had witnessed a violent crime. They also began working with the Governor's Office to form the Lubbock County Care Coordination Team. The team brings together several stakeholders in the county, including our Community Partner Voice of Hope, to ensure that the needs of youth survivors of sex trafficking are met in a holistic way. The team is one of only eight in the state of Texas.
Learn more about CAC and its mission at https://www.safeplace4kids.org/