About the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
Since 1991, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) has been on the front line of helping children begin the process of healing and recovery from the trauma of child abuse. The only organization of its kind in Dallas County, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center sees upwards of 7,300 clients each year, including the child abuse victim and their non-offending family members. Lynn Davis, president and CEO since 2005, leads a team of 110 staff and 200 additional professionals, including therapists, police officers and others who provide and coordinate services for some of Dallas County’s most vulnerable residents.
How the DCAC Works
After abuse has been reported to either law enforcement or CPS, the next stop for the child and their family is DCAC. At this moment, when families are often falling apart, the team at DCAC jumps into action to start putting them back together. Family Advocates provide each family unit with wraparound services, best described by DCAC staff as “wrapping our arms around these families as they walk in the door and giving them whatever they need.” And whatever they need is always provided free of charge. Children and their families have access to therapy, meals, transportation and clothing, courtroom services, advocacy, expert testimony and any other resources needed on the road to justice and healing.
Camaraderie and Collaboration
Key to the success of DCAC’s programming is the camaraderie and collaboration that exists among its team of support staff and professionals. Since moving into a new state-of-the-art facility in 2013, that spirit of collaboration has been strengthened even further. The space houses all DCAC staff, as well as the Child Abuse Unit of the Dallas Police Department, six units of CPS and a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney. By design, this proximity allows for enhanced communication and cooperation among departments and improves the team’s ability to respond to the needs of their clients.
A Voice for Children Everywhere
In their role as a national leader on child abuse issues, DCAC’s impact reaches far beyond Dallas County. Through robust educational programs, they provide comprehensive child abuse training to community members and professionals both locally and across the country. In 2019 alone, the education team trained over 100,000 professionals. The Crimes Against Children Conference, presented annually by DCAC since 1988, draws both a national and international audience of those who work with child victims of crime. Davis knows that the heartbreaking nature of this work can weigh heavily on his staff. But even in the midst of heartbreak, he describes DCAC as a “place of joy.” That joy can be seen when a child graduates from therapy and everyone gathers to throw a huge parade, when a parent witnesses a child’s extraordinary resilience, when a child finally regains her smile, or when hope has been restored to a family that is made whole again. These moments of joy are hard-earned, but they are what the team at DCAC works to create for each and every client they serve.
Want to Help?
If you would like to learn more about DCAC or how you might help them improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County, please visit their website at dcac.org. Click on the “Get Involved” tab to find information on volunteering, advocacy or supporting DCAC financially.