The Williamson County Child Advocacy Center Task Force was formed in March 1999 under the leadership of Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General for the 21st Judicial District. The initial meeting was held on March 1, 1999. The Task Force consisted of caring, concerned professionals who saw a need to improve services offered to child abuse victims in our community. After a year and a half of planning, the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center (WCCAC) opened its doors in September 2000. The WCCAC was developed according to National Children's Alliance guidelines, which are considered best practices for Child Advocacy Centers across the country. In October of 2010, the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center became a fully accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance. For the past 16 years, the WCCAC has been providing comprehensive services such as forensic interviews, case management, victim advocacy, counseling, support groups, court support and court orientation to child abuse victims and their Non-Offending family members. We also provide leadership, coordination, and staffing for the Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT), a multi-disciplinary team consisting individuals from local law enforcement, District Attorney’s office, Department of Children’s Services, WCCAC, and juvenile court officers. Additionally, the WCCAC provides education and training designed to train adults in our community how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
The Williamson County Child Advocacy Center is a warm, welcoming place where abused children and their families in crisis can receive all of the help, support and services that they need. During our first year in existence, we saw 61 clients in Williamson County. We served over 1,000 clients in our first eight years of operation. Last year fiscal (FY 2015), we provided 2,305 services to 937 clients in Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry Counties.
The Child Advocacy Center provides three direct service programs: Forensic Interview Program; Child and Family Advocate Program; and Counseling Program; and two non-direct service programs: Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT) Program; and Prevention Program. Serving four counties and increasing the awareness in each, the need for our services from children and families in the communities we serve continues to grow. Last year we served 505 new child clients, an increase of over 100 from our prior four year's average. This requires continued additional funding for general operating and specific program expenses. Our budget increased to $488,398 thus our primary need is for increased funding for our direct service programs. Increased demand for our Prevention Program through which we train adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual and/or severe physical abuse necessitates increased funding for personnel costs (estimated additional need of $25,000). We need to expand our counseling schedule and serve more children throughout the 21st Judicial District (estimated additional need is $25,000). We also need funding to increase non-direct service personnel ($25,000) in the office to assist with administrative responsibilities.
You may contribute to our organization by mailing a check to Davis House Child Advocacy Center at 101 Forrest Crossing Blvd., Suite 106, Franklin, TN 37064. You may also contribute by making a contribution over the phone by credit/debit card by calling 615-790-5900 ext. 101. In-kind donations are accepted in the form of office and/or general occupancy supplies for the Center as well as drink and snack supplies for the children we serve. We also accept, with prior approval and consultation, office equipment and furniture. Professional services are accepted as in-kind donations.
Volunteer opportunities include service on various committees for events, office and clerical on-site and off-site support, event specific day of volunteer opportunities, and service on our board of directors and advisory board. Event committees include Legacy Ball (event date in February/March); Rock The House Music Jam (event date in April/May); and our golf tournament (event date in September).
CPIT is a state mandated multi-disciplinary team comprised of Child Advocacy Center staff, law enforcement, District Attorney’s office, Department of Children’s Services (DCS), medical professionals, and Juvenile Court officers. The charge of CPIT is to determine the disposition of each case through meetings conducted at Davis House Child Advocacy Center (DHCAC). These meetings occur monthly in each county we serve. In these meetings, each discipline brings their respective expertise and investigative information pertaining to the child victim in an effort to provide appropriate protective, counseling, or other services that the child needs. Legal proceedings and referrals for prosecution of an alleged perpetrator arise from CPIT meetings. In short, services for the welfare of the child and services that seek justice for the child victims originate from these meetings and the CPIT Program.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Human trafficking has long been an international concern, but did you know that trafficking could be happening in your own neighborhood? News features on this topic often concentrate on women and children in third world countries who have been forced into the sex trade industry involuntarily, but this industry has evolved into one of the most lucrative businesses worldwide. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, human sex trafficking is "the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world." What you may not know is that human trafficking is growing in the United States and takes place right here in Middle Tennessee.
In Tennessee, gang presence has been on the rise since the late 1980s and early 1990s, when gangs first made a concerted push into the state. Since 2011, police have identified at least 5,000 gang members in Davidson County, and gang-related crimes have increased by 25%. Meanwhile, cities with 50,000 or fewer inhabitants have seen gang-related crimes triple in frequency nationally since 2005.
The dramatic achievements of public health in the 20th century have improved our quality of life in a myriad of ways, including an increase in life expectancy, worldwide reduction of infant and child mortality rates, and the elimination or reduction of many communicable diseases. In Middle Tennessee, improvements in preventive medicine and advanced medical technology have resulted in increased life expectancy and improved health for many residents. However, significant health disparities exist in our region, resulting in poor health status often related to economic status, race, and/or gender.
Relationships have ups and downs, but certain types of behavior in any relationship are unacceptable and abusive. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the epidemic is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This rings especially true when the abuse psychological, rather than physical. Emotional abuse is often minimized, yet can leave deep and lasting scars.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215