Children's Advocacy Center of Aiken
The mission of the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Aiken County is to provide a safe environment and supportive services which promote healing to abused children and their families through intervention, treatment and prevention.
In 2002 many different community agency leaders and interested citizens began meeting to discuss the possibility of establishing a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Aiken County. At that time, abused children were being interviewed by staff from many different agencies in a variety of places. These less than ideal circumstances were traumatic. Often times, children would recant, or the information was not shared from agency to agency. When a child needed a medical examination, long distance travel was necessary which only increased the level of anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, these abuse cases often fell between the cracks and there was no voice for the children.
Due to the determination and diligence of agency leaders and interested citizens who served on the CAC Board, many years of planning finally grew into a viable and realistic plan for the CAC. On August 31, 2005, the CAC received its designation from the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) (3), private nonprofit organization. The CAC initially operated out of one room at the United Way. Later, it was located in a small office down town. In August of 2008, the CAC moved into a new building especially designed for its unique services. The building was largely funded by the County with revenue from the one cent sales tax. The CAC was initialy accredited by the National Children’s Alliance in August of 2008. The reaccreditation process occurred in November of 2013. The staff has grown from one to a staff of six, with one contract employees. Leaders of the original founding agencies have transitioned into the Advisory Board which promotes cooperation among the child-serving agencies. The CAC is presently governed by a Board of Directors which consists of concerned community members.
Many different community agencies have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Child Advocacy Center. These agencies are represented on the Multidisciplinary Team and on the Advisory Board. These agencies are:
Aiken County Department of Social Services
Aiken County Guardian Ad Litem Program
Aiken County School District
Aiken County Sheriff’s Office
Aiken County Victim's Services
Aiken Department of Public Safety
Aiken Regional Medical Center
Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center
Children’s Place, Inc.
Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons
Department of Juvenile Justice
Helping Hands, Inc.
North Augusta Public Safety
Solicitor’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit