Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center

The mission of Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is to provide a timely, coordinated, multi-disciplinary response to child sexual and physical abuse. Two Rivers has been providing services for abused children in Southern Illinois since 2001, reducing the trauma that child victims endure after they disclose. Two Rivers is accredited through the National Children’s Alliance and uses the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) Model to provide a safe, child-friendly environment or children to talk about what appened, begin to deal with their abuse and ultimately heal from their emotional wounds.

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The CAC Model s designed to coordinate a multi-disciplinary pproach o the investigation and prosecution of child abuse, while eeping the child victim the priorit. The multi-disciplinary team is comprised of members from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, law enforcement, State’s Attorney’s Offices, medical personnel, mental health counselors, and CAC staff. A neutral, child-focused setting for Forensic Interviews is provided at the CAC to allow children to tell their story. Specially trained professionals conduct these investigative interviews using a child evelopmentally informed, research based model. Forensic Interviews are observed live by multi-disciplinary team members and digitally recorded at the CAC. An advocate is assigned to each child to act on behalf of their best interests. This includes helping them to understand and navigate the court process and connecting the child and non-offending family members with other community services such as specialized medical exams, counseling, social services, and Crime Victim’s Compensation. Multi-disciplinary team case review meetings are held regularly in each of the seven counties the CAC serves to share information, follow-up on child victims’ progress and monitor case status.

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Two Rivers CAC also seeks to educate the communities of Southern Illinois on the topic of child abuse through the Green Bear Prevention Program. CAC staff provides child abuse prevention education programs to school aged children, parents, professionals, community and civic organizations, PTA’s, churches, and businesses. The presentations for school aged children are age appropriate, fun, engaging, and based on child development theories as related to child learning that teach children ways to stay safe from abuse. The methods of presentation include a puppet show, storybook, “Fun Books” (workbooks), and mock game shows with pencil and sticker rewards and candy prizes. The Green Bear Program includes the following educational trainings/presentations for children:

  • The Green Bear Club (for pre-kindergarten through 5th grade)
  • Hugging, Kissing, Touching…and All That Other Stuff (for 6th through 8th grades)
  • Surviving the Dating Game (for 9th through 12th grades)

To educate professionals, parents and community members on ways to keep children safe, The Green Bear Program includes the following educational trainings/presentations:

  • A Guide for Mandated Reporters: Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse
  • Raising Healthy Children in Your Community

Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center is funded in part by grants but also depends on private donations to continue services. For the purpose of Two Rivers’ partnership with Bee The Swarm, funds are being raised for the Green Bear Prevention Program, which is funded only partially by a grant from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Funds raised during this campaign will go towards the printing of the Fun Book workbooks the children use during the program and the purchase of other supplies essential to carrying out the program and ensuring that children and adults in southern Illinois receive these important safety messages.

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