Today, Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott visited the San Angelo community to tour the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Tom Green County. The CAC of Tom Green County is one of 70 CACs in Texas providing critical services to child victims of abuse. Texas CACs serve 194 counties, which collectively provide services to over 43,000 children a year.
CACs, like the CAC of Tom Green County, are improving Texas’ response to child abuse through a true public-private partnership. CACs provide a victim-centered, multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, providing specialized forensic interviews, therapeutic recovery services, medical evaluation, and case management.
Thanks to significant investment in this process by Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature, CACTX coordinates the efforts of law enforcement, Child Protective Services (CPS), prosecutors, medical providers, and therapists to right serious wrongs and provide critical healing services to children and families in Texas.
The Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor has made substantial financial investments (through Texas’ Victims of Crime Act Funding) in our network of CACs to ensure a child-friendly, coordinated approach to joint investigations in child abuse cases. Our state has done an amazing job recognizing that we can build better cases, keep children safe, and make sure children are not re-victimized throughout the investigations process by way of this coordinated approach. The support from our state and federal government and private sector has been instrumental in ensuring that Texas’ CAC network is a national leader. Due to the investment in the CAC model, in state fiscal year 2016, CACs statewide increased the number of children served in by 15%.
On behalf of the network of CACs in Texas, we are encouraged that Governor Abbott has elevated child welfare as a top priority for Texas. Thank you to First Lady Cecilia Abbott. By being with the San Angelo community today, she is bringing awareness to child abuse as we strive for the best and necessary services for our most vulnerable citizens.
ABOUT THE CAC OF TOM GREEN COUNTY
The mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Tom Green County, Inc. is to ensure that every child in our community has a safe and nurturing home. As the umbrella agency, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Tom Green County, Inc. houses six programs including: Hope House, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Family Enrichment Services, Child Fatality Review Team, Concho Valley Family Alliance and Strengthening Child Welfare Continuum Group. While each program is separate and unique, they all work together to protect children and strengthen families in our community. For more information, visit www.cactomgreen.org.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTERS OF TEXAS
Founded in 1994 with a membership of 13 local centers, the CACTX membership roster today includes 70 established and developing centers in large urban cities as well as in small rural communities. CACTX creates a statewide platform for public-private partnerships within communities, fueling the success of the CAC approach by uniting advocates and giving local centers a statewide voice. From their headquarters in Austin, the CACTX team coordinates services among the following groups: local centers, Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs), statewide government agencies, stakeholders, community volunteers, and child welfare advocates. Working together, they positively affect policy and funding for the CAC movement and partner service organizations. CACTX membership reflects the vast diversity of Texas, all with their own unique approaches to fulfilling our shared mission of protecting and providing for children. For more information, visit www.cactx.org.