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 The Children’s Advocacy Center for Kaufman celebrates the organization’s new facility opening in the Spring of 2021. Pictured from left to right: Shannon Gardner, Debra Hawes, Tonya Ratcliff, Mike Holder, Judge Hal Richards, Chief Dean Winters, Erleigh Wiley, Chief Dana Whitaker, Sheriff Bryan Beavers, and Zahnd Schlensker.

The Children’s Advocacy Center for Kaufman County (CACKC) is preparing to transitioninto a new facility in the spring. The organization recently held a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate and bless the building.

The Kaufman center was established in 2008. Since then, the non-profit organization has served many children and families in the county. As a Children's Advocacy Center, the organization aims to treat children who are experiencing emotional trauma as a result of sexual and physical abuse. The CACKC provides adolescent victim services while coordinating investigation and prosecution. The organization offers a safe place for alleged child victims. The CACKC partners closely with law enforcement and Child Protective Services (CPS).

The CACKC has grown significantly over the past several years. “We are seeing anywhere from an 8 to 12 percent increase in cases each year,” stated CEO Shannon Gardner. “This requires more staff and more space to do our work.” While the increase in service to clients in need is worthy of celebrating, it is also highlights the need for a larger office building.

The Advocacy Center currently averages around 40 forensic interviews per month. This number translates to around 4,000 services provided each year. Services offered include victim advocacy and evidence-based therapy by licensed providers. These services come at no cost to the families or partner agencies.

The new building will open up several new opportunities for staff to serve clients. It "is going to allow us to serve the families we’re serving now in a more timely manner,” explained Gardner. “We currently just don’t have the staff or the space we need to accommodate them." Additionally, the larger space will allow the CACKC to expand programming. New services will include an on-site medical exam room, a Rainbow Room, and the Problematic Sexualized Behavior Program. With these expanded services, the CACKC hopes to assist both existing and future clients in a more complete manner.

The CACKC staff currently consists of nine full-time staff and two interns.

Gardner wanted to extend special thanks to go to the group's Board of Directors, Building Committee, and the people of Kaufman County who continually support the CACKC’s mission that allows them to continue to make a positive change in the lives of children impacted by the trauma of abuse

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