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Children's Advocacy Center of Hernando


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The Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) of Hernando County is a child-friendly facility that responds to children who are child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, threatened harm, drug-endangerment, mental injury, neglect and witnesses of domestic violence. The program utilizes a nationally-recognized multidisciplinary team approach that includes the following partners:

  • the Department of Children and Families (DCF);
  • the University of Florida (UF) Child Protection Team (CPT) (Co-located at the CAC);
  • State Attorney's Office;
  • Hernando County Sheriff's Office; and,
  • Brooksville Police Department;
  • Victims Advocates; and,
  • Mental Health Professionals.

 

The primary goal of the Children's Advocacy Center is to reduce the trauma experienced by child abuse victims by ensuring a coordinated response and investigation that avoids multiple, redundant forensic interviews by law enforcement, the judicial system and mental health system. Doing so ensures a response that is sensitive to the child's emotional and developmental needs, while also preventing re-victimization experienced by multiple interviews.

 

Who is Eligible:

Children ages 0-17 who are victims of alleged physical or sexual abuse, victims of neglect, human trafficking victims, drug endangered children, or children who witness domestic violence. Non-offending caregivers may also be eligible for services.

 

Services Available:

The Children's Advocacy Center provides comprehensive, coordinated multidisciplinary services designed to reduce the stress a child experiences through the investigative process.  Services provided at the CAC include, forensic interviews, specialized interviews, social assessments, forensic medical exams, multi-disciplinary team staffing, advocacy, deposition and court accompaniment, case management, as well as individual therapy for child victims and 10-week support groups for non-offending caregivers.

 

Funding:

The Children's Advocacy Center is funded through a variety of sources including:

  • Florida Legislature appropriated funds, administered through the Network for Children's Advocacy Centers (FNCAC);
  • Victim's of Crime Act (VOCA) funds administered by the Florida Office of the Attorney General;
  • United Way of Hernando County;
  • Department of Children and Families' Trust Fund;
  • Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles License support and Motor Vehicle Check-Off Registrations;
  • Private/Public Contributions; and,
  • Annual Designer Purse Bingo Fundraiser.

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Contact Information:

Appointments made by referral only. For more information contact 352-754-8809.

 

Hours of Operation:  Monday - Friday 8:00 am. to 4:30 pm.

                                               On-Call (Evenings/Weekends/Holidays)

 

Service Location:       Hernando County

 

How You Can Help:  Snacks and Monetary Donations Accepted

                                               Annual Designer Purse Bingo

 

Donate Now >

 

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Success Stories
In the Midst of Despair, the CAC offers Hope and Healing

Alicia, a student at USF, thought her life was falling apart when she discovered her husband had been molesting their 8-year old daughter, but the CAC was there for her, providing counseling, case management and support from the criminal justice system - even advocating on their behalf so that she could financially stand on her own two feet.  She participated in Lauren's Walk to help raise awareness for there victims of sexual abuse.  As a result of their experience at the CAC, Alicia has decided to change her major at USF to Social Work so that she can help others in their time of need.

Success Stories
Success Stories
A great support system

One of the Children's Advocacy Center's (CAC) child sexual abuse victims, "Susie", had to fly out of state to testify at the trial of her perpetrator.  Susie had a long history of distrust and shutting down when talking about the abuse.  CAC's advocate was able to talk to Susie several times prior to flying and then accompanied her to court for five days while she testified.  With that support, Susie was able to focus and provide effective testimony that ultimately resulted in the perpetrator's conviction and prison sentence of 25 years to life.

Success Stories
Success Stories
Designer Purse Bingo Fundraiser a huge hit!

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Hernando County (CAC) held their 2nd Annual Designer Purse Bingo on Friday, September 25, 2015. Tickets sold out more than three weeks ahead of the big event with 360 people in attendance! A total of $25,323.80 was raised, which is almost double from last year!

Representative Blaise Ingoglia was the emcee for the night and he kept the crowd amused and engaged with his dynamic personality. 

Success Stories