History of thePerry-Jackson CAC
In 2001, the State’s Attorneys from Jackson and Perry County along with a concerned group of individuals began meeting to discuss the development of a Child Advocacy Center for both Perry and Jackson Counties in Southern Illinois. The focus was to develop a program in which all services provided would minimize the trauma experienced by children during and after the disclosure of abuse.
In 2002, an Advisory Board was formed, funding was secured, and an Executive Director was hired for the newly established Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center. In February of 2003, the center began providing direct services to children and their families. A lot has changed over the years, but the services that are provided to the children have remained in place.
The Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center became a fully accredited child advocacy center (CAC) through the National Children’s Alliance in 2009. To be a fully accredited CAC, an agency must meet the minimum standards of accreditation set forth by the NCA and host national site reviewers every 5 years to observe that these standards are being met. To view these standards please visit https://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/ncas-standards-for-accredited-members/.
History of CAC's in Illinois
In August of 1989, Illinois Governor James Thompson signed into law the “Children’s Advocacy Center Act.” This legislation mandated that each county in Illinois establish a Child Advocacy Center Board and develop a protocol to handle all reports of child sexual abuse.
In 1996, Attorney General Jim Ryan’s Violence to Children Task Force drafted an amendment to the legislation which expanded into treatment of cases of serious physical abuse of children as well.
Currently, there are 42 CACs in the State of Illinois providing services to child abuse victims in all of the State’s 102 counties. 39 of these CACs are fully accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. In fiscal year 2021, Illinois CACs provided services to over 14,291 children and their families.
Please visit www.childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org for a complete listing of CACs in the State of Illinois. For a complete listing of CACs in the United States and other countries please visit www.nationalchildrensalliance.org.