Nonprofit Directory / Nonprofit Profile
Children’s Advocacy Center for North Texas and our 67 partners are the front-line responders to reports of criminal child abuse in Denton County, Wise County, and Jack County. We are the only non-profit in these three counties that uses a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to address felony-level child abuse cases, providing education, healing, and justice to children, families, and our community.
Mandated by Texas Family Code, we provide evidence-based, trauma-informed counseling and specialized victim services to children and their non-offending family members who have been traumatized by physical abuse or violence, neglectful supervision, or sexual assault.
The Children’s Advocacy Center movement started in the 1980s as the place children and their families come for help. By the 1990s, the movement became part of Texas Family Code, which mandates that certain criminal cases of child abuse including sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, child trafficking, or witness to death or severe violence, are investigated at a CAC.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, responsible for coordinating the investigation and prosecution of severe child abuse cases for law enforcement, the Department of Family and Protective Services, and prosecutorial offices in Denton, Wise, and Jack counties through a multi-disciplinary team response for children aged 0-17. We and our 67 partner agencies provide critical, no-cost victim services to child victims and their families to facilitate the healing process and reduce the trauma of abuse. We are the place a child goes after an outcry of abuse. For 26 years, we have been the place abuse investigations are conducted and where healing and restoration occur. We are the place where fear and shame are lifted; where hope and power are gifted.
Children served by a CAC are surrounded by a team of caring professionals in an environment designed with children in mind. Since 1997, we have coordinated more than 26,000 cases, ensuring stronger outcomes by offering six core services: Multidisciplinary Team Coordination, Forensic Interviews, Mental Health Services, Family Advocacy Services, Forensic Medical Exams, and MDT Case Review. In 2020 CACTX added Wise County, the largest county without its own CAC, to our service area. We expanded to Jack County in 2022, as child abuse does not stop at the county line, so neither can our response. As a multi-county advocacy center, we receive and read statewide intake reports of child abuse at the same time as investigators, ensuring that no child and no investigation “falls through the cracks” or receives less than our best-in-class service.
Child abuse can occur regardless of gender, racial identity, or socio-economic status. We know that child victims of severe abuse are at high risk for continued trauma, deserving strong and proven interventions that promote resilience and that allow victims to overcome the impact of abuse. That is why we exist: to eliminate the negative outcomes associated with child abuse and to restore the full potential of the child. We pledge to break the cycle of child abuse by educating families and our community to protect children.
We respond to every severe child abuse case under investigation by law enforcement or the Department of Family and Protective Services, providing six core services of Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Coordination, Forensic Interviews, Mental Health Services, Family Advocacy Services, Forensic Medical Exams, and MDT Case Review in three counties. We are the ONLY organization in Denton, Wise, and Jack counties to offer these wraparound services when a child becomes a victim of a severe crime.
We provide critical, no-cost victim services to child victims ages 0-17 and their non-offending family members in English and Spanish (with other languages available through a contracted translation service) because child abuse occurs regardless of gender, racial and sexual identity, or socioeconomic status.
We read every report made to the statewide Child Abuse Hotline at the same time as DFPS and law enforcement investigators, coordinating every case meeting criminal criteria with the investigators. And, we hold weekly case reviews so that every case is followed through the system from initial report through resolution. One of the key purposes of the Advocacy Center is to ensure that every child who has experienced abuse receives all recommended services, so we track from referral to service provision, ensuring that no child falls through the cracks or gets lost in the system.
After a child participates in a forensic interview scheduled in support of an open investigation by law enforcement or DFPS, the family is referred for services including family advocacy services, medical services, and evidence-based, trauma-informed counseling.
Family Advocates guide and educate families through the complex undertaking after a child victim makes an outcry. As each case proceeds through the investigation, prosecution, and healing process, the Advocate helps the family understand the process, learn about their rights, and access resources to aid their family during the crisis.
Medical services are offered on-site to all clients aged 0-17. Our Sexual Assault Nurse Exam (SANE) certified medical staff provide sexual assault and physical assault exams as well as head-to-toe wellness exams, follow-up exams, and health education. We also provide no-cost prescriptions and laboratory collection in support of sexual or physical assault investigations.
The Advocacy Center’s team of licensed professional therapists provides trauma-informed counseling to the child victim and their family members, working to overcome challenges, build a positive self-image, develop boundaries, and build healthy relationships through weekly sessions and regular communication.
Finally, we provide free educational training programs to caregivers and others across our community such as businesses, childcare centers, schools, and churches to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect, to aid in the prevention, recognition, and responsible reaction to possible abuse situations, and to teach effective methods to talk with children about personal and online safety.