Who we are
We Help Child Abuse Victims Find Safety
The reported numbers of childhood sexual abuse are staggering. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo and Starr Counties (CACHSC) works with law enforcement, Child Protective Services, and the District Attorney’s Office to investigate and intervene in cases of child abuse.
Where We Began
The National Children’s Advocacy Center was established in Alabama in 1985 to serve as a beacon of hope for victims of abuse across the country. The purpose of the CAC system is to ensure that all available resources are utilized to make victims of child abuse feel safe, heard, and protected.
The CACHSC was established after the tragic loss of a two-year-old, as a result of abuse, in Hidalgo County. Our organization is part of a larger network of advocacy centers that have adopted the same effective model that the National CAC utilizes to help victims of child abuse and their non-offending family members. We take a multidisciplinary team approach and work to protect children from abuse and neglect by advocating for children and educating families on issues surrounding abuse.
Today, there are more than 800 Children’s Advocacy Centers across the country, with 71 in the state of Texas. The CACHSC is the only one of its kind in our community.
Like-Minded Individuals Fighting for a Life-Saving Cause
Many dedicated individuals from all walks of life have come together here at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo and Starr Counties to fight tooth and nail for victimized children so that they can feel safe again. Our Board of Directors has provided crucial support and guidance to our institution in order to effectively help children recover after they were physically and/or sexually abused.
A Community Coming Together
We are very grateful for the help and outreach our community has provided us over the last few decades, and the following businesses and organizations have gone above and beyond in helping us help victims of child abuse:
How You Can Help
Helping children who are victims of abuse isn’t a job that is only reserved for medical professionals or law enforcement. You, too, can get involved in helping our children in one of three ways:
1. Volunteer Dedicate your time to helping child victims through:
- Clerical – Our staff members welcome anyone who would like to help them with their office duties by making copies, sorting out information packets and supplies, processing donations, answering phones and scheduling appointments, and basic data entry.
- Family Advocate – Help our Family Advocates by providing information to families regarding our services and procedures. By getting involved here, you can also help us with child care, preparing snacks, and creating arts and crafts.
- Estrella’s Closet – You can help us coordinate and organize clothes and toys in the Teddy Bear Room and in Estrella’s Closet.
- Fundraising Events – You are more than welcome to dedicate your time to assisting CACHC through various duties during our fundraising events.
2. Internship Our internship program gives crucial experience to college students looking to make a difference in the lives of child abuse victims.
Family Advocate – To qualify for this position, you must have/be enrolled in a Bachelor’s level practicum for Social Work, Rehabilitative Services, or Psychology degrees. Your duties under this internship may include:
- Family and child assessments
- Providing information and referrals to families for social services as needed.
- Case management
- Coordinating additional needed services for each family
- Data entry
Mental Health – This position requires the student to be a participant in a Master’s level practicum for Social Work, Rehabilitative Services, or a Licensed Professional Counseling Intern. Duties will include:
- Crisis Counseling to victims and their non-offending family members
- Debriefing of victims and family after services have been provided.
- Providing Individual counseling
- Facilitating counseling and support groups
- Case documentation and management
- Attending Multidisciplinary Team meetings
Accounting – Internship seekers for CACHC must be a Junior or Senior pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance. Duties for this position may include:
- Maintain financial records
- Fixed Asset and Inventory accounting
- Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable
- Participate in month-end close process, reconciliations, journal entries
- Projects and other duties as assigned
3. Donate – If you can’t donate your time, our center would be grateful to accept a small donation in the form of monies provided, new clothes and shoes, school supplies, and toiletries for children of all ages. Our federal funds work on a 20% cash-match system for all grant monies received, so this means that for every $1.00 that has been donated, that donation actually has a value of $4.00! Any little bit that you can contribute helps, as the average cost for services per child is approximately $1,500.
4. Employment – Take a look at our job listings here for any employment opportunities.