The Children’s Advocacy Center for Kaufman County (CAC) dedicated a 10,000-square-foot building it renovated at 2005 S. Houston Street in Kaufman. Thanks to its Building Hope capital campaign and Kaufman County, the nonprofit was able to secure its newly expanded home that serves all of Kaufman County—particularly its youngest members—at no cost to families.
Children’s Advocacy Center Chief Executive Officer Shannon Gardner said, “Children’s Advocacy Center is proud to serve all of Kaufman County’s youngest citizens to provide hope and healing to families. This new center allows us to create a safe, child-friendly space in the heart of our growing community. We will be able to provide even more children much needed services to overcome their abuse and move on to a life full of promise and possibilities.”
The new areas include the following:
- Eight Counseling Suites: These places will offer children and families evidence-based counseling in a private setting to help them heal from their abuse.
- Six Victim Advocacy and Forensic Interview Rooms: These private areas are where children and their families begin to receive support services: two soundproof forensic interview rooms; two dedicated rooms for law enforcement to view forensic interview rooms; a dedicated office for law enforcement, child protective investigators and/or the Kaufman County District Attorney’s office to use when on-site.; separate conference room for partner agencies to use.
- Medical Evaluation Room: Medical professionals examine and document the abuse the children have endured.
- Multipurpose Area: This large area is a place for partner agency trainings, case reviews and a deregulation space for therapy clients.
- Resource Room: this 24/7 resource center is where victim advocates and caseworkers can get supplies for children who are victims of abuse or neglect and who have immediate needs.
- Reception/Waiting Areas: There are now four separate child-friendly, welcoming waiting areas to help maintain confidentiality of families.
Children’s Advocacy Center Board Chairman Mike Holder added, “Sadly, child sexual assault knows no boundaries and affects every socio-economic group and ethnicity. In the last five years, there have been more than 3,500 child abuse investigations in our county, and those numbers are increasing. The separate waiting areas and dedicated soundproof rooms for law enforcement, child protective investigators and the Kaufman County District Attorney’s office will help provide the privacy needed to help all those involved.”
Kaufman County Judge Hal Richards said, “We were pleased to partner with Children’s Advocacy Center for Kaufman County to help them with the building, so that they can focus on providing much needed services for our community. We, as a county, understand the important role that the CACKC plays in helping the children and families of our community, as well as, an integral tool for law enforcement, child protective services and the District Attorney’s office. Offering support for the completion of this building helps the citizens of our county as well as those agencies that are responsible for protecting it.”
Children’s Advocacy Center is involved in protecting children from child abuse through coordinated and teamed investigations with local law enforcement jurisdictions, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Malone, Maxell and Dennehy was the architect, and JRT, Inc. was the general contractor.
*Special thanks to all the partner agencies:
- CASA of Rockwall & Kaufman Counties
- Children’s Health Clinical Operations
- Combine Police Department
- Crandall ISD Police Department
- Crandall Police Department
- DFPS Child Protective Investigations (CPI)
- DFPS Child Protective Services (CPS)
- DFPS Child Special Investigation (CPI)
- Forney ISD Police Department
- Forney Police Department
- Kaufman County Community Supervision and Corrections Department
- Kaufman County District Attorney
- Kaufman County Juvenile Probation
- Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office
- Kaufman ISD Police Department
- Kaufman Police Department
- Kemp ISD Police Department
- Kemp Police Department
- Mabank ISD Police Department
- Mabank Police Department
- Mesquite Police Department
- Talty Police Department
- Terrell Police Department
- Texas Health Resources
- Wolf Legal Nurse Consultants, Inc.