The Lake Sumter Children's Advocacy Center was incorporated in 1997 through a co-operative effort among various law enforcement agencies, other child welfare agencies and concerned community leaders.
With incidents of child abuse rising, the group saw a definitive need for a facility that could offer a safe, child-friendly environment where child victims of sexual and physical abuse could access all necessary services.
Role of the CAC
Working in partnership with other area agencies and law enforcement, the role of the center is to provide services as soon as possible following the disclosure of abuse, reduce the severity of the emotional impact of the child victim, facilitate the prosecution efforts and provide both emotional and physical support to the victim's family during the entire process. Some active functions of the center currently include on-site crisis counseling, facilities for medical examinations, video taping of forensic interviews, multidisciplinary case staffings and long term therapy.
Services are provided to child victims up to the age of 18 and their families at no charge. Since its inception in March 1998, the center has provided services to over 15,000 child abuse victims residing in Lake and Sumter Counties. The CAC is also a Fully Accredited CAC in good standing with the National Children's Alliance.
Child Protection Team Contract Awarded in 2010
In 2010, the Florida Department of Health awarded the CAC the Child Protection Team contract for Lake and Sumter Counties. This enabled the CAC to hire its own medical providers and expand to provide forensic interviews, medical exams and other risk assessments on a 24/7 basis.
Offices in Leesburg and Wildwood
Unfortunately, the need for the services of the CAC continue to grow at an alarming rate. Our primary center is located in Leesburg, Florida, close to the main campus of Leesburg Regional Medical Center for emergency care and follow-up. It is centrally located for law enforcement agencies and the Department of Children and Families, who depend on our thorough and diverse range of quality services. We also operate a satellite office in Wildwood. The office is located in the Sumter County Department of Children and Families Building.