In August of 1989, Illinois Governor James Thompson signed into law the "Children's Advocacy Center Act." This legislation mandated that each county in Illinois establish a Child Advocacy Center Board and develop a protocol to handle all reports of child sexual abuse.
In 1996, Attorney General Jim Ryan's Violence to Children Task Force drafted an amendment to the legislation which expanded into treatment of cases of serious physical abuse of children as well.
Currently, there are 38 CACs in the State of Illinois providing services to residents in 93 out of 102 counties. 31 of these CACs are fully accredited by the National Childre's Alliance. In fiscal year 2010, CACs in Illinois provided services to over 10,000 children that disclose that they had been victims of abuse.
Please visit www.cacionline.org for a complete listing of CACs in the State of Illinois. For a complete listing of CACs in the United States and other countries please visit www.nationalchildrensalliance.org.
In 2001, a concerned group of individuals began meeting to discuss the development of a Child Advocacy Center for both Perry and Jacksn Counties in Southern Illinois. The focus was to develop a program in which all services provided would minimize the trauma experienced by children during and after thedisclosure of abuse.
In 2002, an Advisory Board was formed, funding was secured, and an Executive Director was hired for the newly established Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center. In February of 2003, the center began providing direct services to children and their families. A lot has changed over the years, but the services that are provided to the children have remained in place.