The Denver Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC) works to improve the lives of children traumatized by sexual abuse and violence-as well as those at risk-with prevention, education and direct services.
Our mission is to
- Prevent Abuse
- Strengthen Families
- Restore Childhood
We achieve this mission by providing a continuum of care that includes prevention programs, forensic interviews, assessment, mental health treatment, and family support in a safe, welcoming environment.
DCAC was founded in 1995 when a needs assessment confirmed that child victims "fell through the cracks" between investigators, prosecutors, human services and mental health agencies, and that the many interviews by different agencies added to the children's trauma.
Many organizations provide similar services offered by DCAC - and we work closely with almost all the organizations serving children in the Denver metro area - but our status as a child advocacy center is what makes us unique.
Before child advocacy centers were created, child victims of crime often had to tell their stories to more than a dozen adults-police officers, prosecutors, doctors, and social workers. They could be shuttled all over town giving depositions, getting medical exams, and, if the family had no money to pay for treatment, be put on long waiting lists for free counseling services. Today, they come to our welcoming, child-friendly three-house campus on Federal Boulevard where all the services they need are available in one location.
DCAC coordinates the multidisciplinary team (MDT) of first responders to reports of child abuse in the Denver metro area. The MDT includes our colleagues in the Denver Police Department, Denver District Attorney's Office, and the Denver Department of Human Services. Denver Health joined the MDT in 2010 and is currently working with us to expand access to medical care for child victims.
We are the first responders to reports of child abuse in the Denver metro area-our staff are on call 24 hours a day/365 days a year to provide crisis management for child victims and their families and to support our colleagues in the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Children and their needs are at the center of our work-our partners on the MDT-police, prosecutors, social workers and medical staff-come to DCAC to mitigate the child's trauma and to ensure integration of services along our continuum of care.
DCAC has built a reputation for working successfully with high-risk families and our mission has expanded from forensic interviews and mental health treatment to include a growing focus on prevention, early intervention through off-site community partnerships, and community education and training for professionals.
Among the most moving testimonials to DCAC's impact is the growing number of your donors and volunteers supporting our mission. Just three recent examples:
A young donor named Jude reached out to DCAC in February 2018 about a special gift. Jude was turning 9 in March and decided to raise money for DCAC in honor of his special day! We were are so grateful for Jude's kindness and generosity and we are thrilled that he decided to donate to DCAC! We are always inspired by all of our young donors who give back to other children in our community.
Right before Thanksgiving 2017, we had a special guest at DCAC. Olivia visited us to give us toys that she had been collecting for our holiday toy drive. Olivia collected new children's toys that will use for our toy drive next month. Every family at DCAC received a gift for every child in their family. We are very thankful for Olivia's generosity and we are also glad that she was willing to give back to her community!
A local Girl Scout Troop recently nominated DCAC as the recipient of their "Hometown Hero" award! The Hometown Hero Program "gives girls the opportunity to learn philanthropy and community service through the Cookie Program". As a recipient of the award, we received 13 cases of cookies to give out to our families, team members, partners, and even to enjoy a few ourselves!