Children's Advocacy Center Foundation, Inc.
We are proud to be part of the team, which commits its efforts to help provide children in Hillsborough County, who have been sexually or physically abused or who have witnessed a crime, to receive the quality services at the Children's Justice Center. The Children's Justice Center provides them with the care and support they need while they are involved in the justice system. As the needs of the Children's Justice Center continue to grow, so does our commitment to meet those needs.
Our mission is to inspire people to contribute to the cause of providing support for services offered through the Children's Justice Center for children who are victims or witnesses of crime or abuse.
The Children's Advocacy Center Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1995 and functions as a non-governing board. Our Board of Directors is committed to the welfare of the children of Hillsborough County. The Children's Advocacy Center Foundation raises funds to support all of the Children's Justice Center's programs, due to the Center's traditional limited government funding. The Children's Justice Center employs a Program Director, two Court Program Specialists, three Forensic Interviewers and Visitation Supervisors, two Program Specialists, one Administrative Assistant and nine Contract Staff. The Children's Justice Center programs include the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), the Supervised Visitation Program, and the Outreach Program. The CAC program conducts over 600-videotaped forensic interviews and depositions annually. The interviews of these children who have been sexually or physically abused are conducted by trained CAC professionals in age appropriate "child-friendly" rooms. The Supervised Visitation program provides a safe environment for children, in the care of Hillsborough Kids, Inc., the Department of Children and Families or other court ordered guardian, to maintain contact with their non-custodial parent(s) amidst allegations that the children's safety would otherwise be jeopardized. Over three thousand supervised visits are scheduled at the Children's Justice Center's facility each year. The Outreach Program provides up to date training for law enforcement responding to child abuse calls and other crimes witnessed or involving children. It also promotes child abuse awareness and prevention in community forums. Approximately 185 Outreach Program activities are conducted annually.
The Foundation supports the expenses for advanced training of the forensic interviewers, as well as allocating funds to be used by the Center's Director and professional staff to attend collaborative seminars and educational forums. We pay for the professional organization dues of the staff. We maintain the child-friendly environment by providing décor upkeep and toy replacements. We also provide the funds for materials used for educational training to law enforcement and community outreach programs.
The New York Yankees Tampa Foundation
Bank of America
MK Hoffman Family Foundation
WCI Communities, Inc.
Hillsborough County Bar Association
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
The Ferrelli Family
Collie Carlton Memorial Fund
Pam and Eric Alvarez
New Tampa Junior Women's Club
Mark P. Kelly, Esq.
Flip Flop Shops
Hill, Ward & Henderson
Catherine W. Real, P.A.
Our In-Kind Donors:
The Florida Aquarium
The Write Stuff
PFS, Lawrenceville, GA
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Old Meeting House Ice Cream
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Agora's Interior Design
The Lollipop Stop
Chili's Grill and Bar
Pebble Creek Golf Club
Tennis Professional James Blake
Shula's Steak House
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse
Robert L. Azmitia, Photographer
Dynamic Carpet Care
Special Thanks To All of Our Supporters Who Have Made Individual Contributions
Hillsborough County has the third most reported cases of child abuse in the state of Florida. Hillsborough County also has one of the highest domestic violence crime rates in Florida. It is our goal to continue to raise funds to provide a variety of assistance to the children of Hillsborough County who use the Children's Justice Center. We shall continue to raise funds to help all the programs provided by the Center including providing monies for child-friendly environment enhancements, community education materials, and professional staff continuing education and training.
The Foundation hopes to provide additional funds to expand the community outreach program relating to mandated child abuse reporting and investigations. The Foundation is also preparing to provide additional support to the Children's Justice Center's new proposed program, Safebridge, by providing funds for materials and professional training of the Safebridge personnel. The Safebridge Program will provide referrals and case management services to child victims of domestic violence, and their caretakers, in conjunction with the child's use of the Children's Justice Center. The Foundation is currently working to find grants to support this newest proposed service.
CHILDREN’S JUSTICE CENTER
Out of the Mouths of Babes:
The buzzer sounds at the front door with Hillsborough County security escorting a three-year old boy and his mother from designated parking for the CJC so the child can visit his father pursuant to the Court's order. When staff hits the button to release the door, the little blond haired, big blue-eyed boy runs in laughing and spouting, "I am here to see my dad!"
Children’s Advocacy Center
On a busy Monday morning at CJC, after an interview, while Brittany's mom talked with a case manager and investigators about ways to keep Brittany safe, the CJC director sat with Brittany in the waiting room. When it was time for Brittany to leave with her mom, she left a note with the CJC director that said, "I am having fun." The Center's mission was complete. She felt safe enough to talk to the CJC interviewer about a horrific event, and then relaxed enough afterwards to play and color and write the note.
A ten-year-old boy came to the CJC for a deposition to be conducted prior to trial. Upon his arrival, he indicated he would not be comfortable unless his dad could be with him. When CJC staff explained that if the attorneys agreed, dad could watch him from another room via closed circuit TV; the child said, "Cool," and agreed to provide his testimony.
The number of children using the services of the CJC continues to grow at an extraordinary rate. The Children's Advocacy Center Foundation continues its commitment to help these child victims. You can help too!
Please join our mission in helping children of sexual and physical abuse by:
Serving on a committee as a Trustee
Your contribution is greatly appreciated and is tax deductible.
Joining the Board of Directors
Making a charitable tax-free donation
Learning more about the Foundation and tour the CJC
Children's Advocacy Center Foundation, Inc.
700 E. Twiggs Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33602
State of Florida Non-Profit Corporation ID# 59-3286500
“STOP CHILD ABUSE” LICENSE PLATE TO BENEFIT CAC’S
During its regular 2003 session, the Florida Legislature passed a bill creating a "Stop Child Abuse" license plate that will benefit Children's Advocacy Centers (CAC's) and Children's Home Society (CHS). On June 19, 2003, Karen Godley and Sondra Williams represented the Florida Network of Children's Advocacy Centers (FNCAC) in a bill-signing ceremony with Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Rod Smith. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Smith and in the House by Representative David Mealor.