Who We Are
The mission of A Child's Place, PA is to improve the health, safety, and well-being of children, particularly those at risk for abuse and neglect.
A Child's Place, PA (ACP) was established in 1999 to coordinate services to ensure the accuracy and speed of investigations to help protect children from further abuse. ACP is a fully accredited Child Advocacy Center with a staff that has, for over a quarter of a century, fostered relationships with and provided child abuse services to Western Pennsylvania counties, and has been involved in more than 30,000 cases of suspected child abuse.
Over time, ACP has evolved into a multi-purpose agency that is passionate about serving children and families and continues to offer programs and services intent on stopping and preventing child abuse. ACP currently has five locations, all fully accredited by the National Children's Alliance, including the host site in Allegheny County, and satellite sites in Beaver, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.
"I most appreciated the professionalism of everyone, along with the kindness and compassion that was shown to my children and myself. It's not an easy thing to go through and they were all extremely helpful."
What is a CAC?
A Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is a child-friendly facility in which law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical, and victim advocacy professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable. To understand what a Child Advocacy Center is, you must understand what children face without one. Without a CAC, the child may end up having to tell the worst story of their life over and over again, to doctors, law enforcement, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they might be in trouble, or may be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning teacher or other adult that could impact the investigation.
At the CAC, the child tells their story once to a trained interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not not re-traumatize the child. Then, a team that includes medical professionals, law enforcement, child protective services, victim advocacy, and other professionals make decisions together about how to help the child based on the interview. CACs offer medical exams, plus family advocacy, case management, and other services.