Creating the Children’s Advocacy Center of San Francisco
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Together, we are creating a place where harm stops and healing and justice begin. We are creating a community that keeps our kids safe.
Children in San Francisco face danger in the very places meant to nurture them—in their homes, schools and neighborhoods:
- 6,000 incidences of child abuse and neglect are reported annually, and many more go undetected.
- More than 10,000 children are exposed to incidents of community and domestic violence annually.
A support system exists, but is not easily accessed. Without a strong, centralized infrastructure in place, families confronting abuse and violence can’t easily access services—and practitioners can’t easily share crucial information.
- Child abuse and trauma are linked to chronic diseases like cancer, heart problems, and mental illness.
- Children who are abused are 40% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime; twice as likely to become alcoholics; and three times as likely to develop a drug addiction.
- Nationally, the societal cost of child maltreatment is approximately $124 billion per year.
The CAC provides a place where trauma stops and justice and healing begin. The CAC is modeled on the simple but powerful concept of multidisciplinary coordination to create a best-in-class response to incidents of child abuse. Core services include:
- Coordinated response including criminal and child protective investigation, forensic medical exams and interviews, mental health evaluation, family support and advocacy, and parent education.
- A state-of-the-art database allowing partners to communicate and track cases electronically, making San Francisco a leader in this area.
- Multidisciplinary case conferences ensuring clear communication among all parties working with a family, even across organizational boundaries.
- Education and training, research and evaluation, and public policy development.
The CAC will co-locate with the Center for Youth Wellness, a new non-profit that takes an innovative approach to addressing the root causes of childhood poverty, including trauma and stress.
In the first 5 years, the CAC will:
- Serve 2,000 children for child abuse response and prevention in a nationally-accredited CAC.
- Provide increased access to trauma-informed mental health services.
- Provide increased case management and advocacy.
- Provide training and peer review to hold ourselves and our partners to the highest standards of care.
- Provide increased coordination, training, evaluation, and organizational capacity to support an improved response to incidents of abuse.
- Provide a child-friendly, safe and welcoming space where the child’s needs are paramount.
In spearheading the creation of the CAC, the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center is grateful for the early vision and steadfast leadership of:
- Local and national leaders, including our San Francisco partners highlighted above, who have reformed the way we respond to child abuse and who have offered their ongoing guidance.
- Tipping Point Community, William K. Bowes Foundation, Hedge Funds Care, Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Partners in Prevention, and Lisa and John Pritzker, among other advocates and supporters.