South Arkansas Children's Coalition
South Arkansas Children’s Coalition (SACC) is a non-profit umbrella organization that oversees and administers two child welfare programs, 13th Judicial District South Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Children’s Advocacy Center of South Arkansas (CAC). CASA utilizes community volunteers to provide advocacy services to children in foster care who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and/or neglect. The CAC provides a coordinated, multi-agency approach to the investigation, interventions and treatment of child sexual and physical abuse.
CASA began serving children in Union County in 1996. Since that time the program has served over 1.000 children. After identifying a need for a CAC, the program began efforts in 2016 to open a CAC in Union County. The CAC opened in 2017 and saw 80 children that year.
CASA recruits and trains local community members to investigate, monitor and report back to the court their findings, keeping the best interest of the child in the forefront and ensuring the child has a safe, permanent home. The lawyers know the statutes, the social workers the regulations. But the CASA volunteer is assigned to know the child, one child at a time, to understand the boundaries of her life, to telephone her teachers, to consider her hopes and dreams, to try to come to some conclusion about what will be in her best interests. For children whose pasts have been chaotic and whose futures are uncertain, the CASA volunteer may be the most consistent, interested presence in their lives.
The CAC is a safe place for children who may have been abused to tell their story and get the help they need to begin the healing process. Our goal is to reduce the impact of trauma, provide medical and mental health services for these children and their families, and facilitate the prosecution of offenders by working together through a multidisciplinary team approach. A multi-disciplinary team (MDT) is the key to the Children’s Advocacy Center. Professionals from a variety of agencies – child protection workers, law enforcement officers, mental health providers, advocates, and prosecutors – join forces to ensure child victims are receiving the essential services, referrals, as well as tracking the progress of the criminal case.
**Why do we need the South Arkansas Children’s Coalition in our community? Because behind every statistic there is a real child who needs our help.
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before she turns 18
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before he turns 18
- 90% of abused children are hurt by someone they know, love or trust
- 20% of child sexual assault victims are under age 8
- Without intervention, 1 in 3 abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the cycle of abuse.41% of children in foster care in Arkansas will experience 4 or more placements. The national average is 27%
100 W. Grove, Ste. 304
El Dorado, AR 71730