The mission of The CAC is to provide a professional, compassionate and coordinated approach to the treatment of sexually abused children and their families and to serve as an advocate for all children in our community.
Simply put, our organization exists to protect children, heal families, and prevent abuse.
There are over 900 child advocacy centers nationwide, including over 70 in Texas, that are dedicated to helping children and families who have been affected by child sexual abuse. The Children’s Assessment Center (The CAC) was established in 1991 in Houston, Texas. The CAC is the only children’s advocacy center serving Harris County and one of the largest in the nation. Over the years, our staff increased to meet the needs of our community. In 2000 The CAC was accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, becoming one of the very first accredited advocacy centers in the nation.
Sadly, before the implementation of children’s advocacy centers, there was not a streamlined process for children. Children were often interviewed multiple times by various law enforcement agencies, medical professionals, and mental health professionals. Here at The CAC, we know that having to recount abuse several times can be retraumatizing and sought to find a solution to make this process as trauma-informed as possible.
The goal of The CAC is to provide all of the services children need in one place. We provide space in our building for dozens of other agencies that we collaborate with to meet the needs of children. We provide trainings in the community to children, families, schools, medical professionals, and other organizations who strive to protect children from abuse. We train the partners within our building on how to work together for the most effective, collaborate multidisciplinary approach to child abuse cases. Within our building, we provide forensic interviewing, therapy and psychological services, and medical services free of charge to our clients. Our hope is that our process will provide children and families the tools necessary to help them on their journey to heal from abuse. We exist to help our community become a better, safer place for each child of Harris County.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The CAC does not discriminate based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected classes. Our services are accessible and tailored to meet clients’ individualized needs regarding culture, language, different abilities, development, and special needs. We provide bilingual services and contract translators as needed, ensure developmentally appropriate services, and offer free prevention training to community members. The CAC is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and continually works to recruit and hire staff, volunteers, and board members that reflect the community’s demographics. In 2019, The CAC founded a Cultural Competency Committee to celebrate diversity, train all of our staff, and raise awareness about cultural competency. The CAC is committed to continually enhancing our diversity, inclusion, and equity policies and practices.
Our value statement is that in our relationship with our community we must demonstrate leadership in providing a compassionate and coordinated approach to the treatment of sexually abused children by honoring the principles of volunteerism, partnership and innovative collaboration and by increasing community involvement and understanding through education, research and training. We will build confidence in our ability to maintain our effort for the long term by being good financial stewards of the resources entrusted to us. We avoid complacency by constant learning. We will strive to reach the sexually abused child in every part of our community by embracing diversity. We will earn and keep the trust of the community by consenting to be judged not only by the passion of our dedication to our mission, but also by the quantity and quality of our results.